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Death of Liam Mackay on Dunnet/Castletown road 'an absolute tragedy'


By Alan Hendry

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Pentland United players and match officials observing a minute's silence in memory of Liam Mackay before their Highland Amateur Cup match against Lairg Rovers in Castletown.
Pentland United players and match officials observing a minute's silence in memory of Liam Mackay before their Highland Amateur Cup match against Lairg Rovers in Castletown.

Liam Mackay's death in a crash on the A836 has been described as "an absolute tragedy" by a co-manager of his former football team.

The 21-year-old from Dunnet sustained serious injuries when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a car on the Dunnet/Castletown road on Friday morning and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Liam was a mechanical technician at the Vulcan site.

Liam was a former player with Dunnet-based football club Pentland United, whose Highland Amateur Cup third-round match against Lairg Rovers today was played at Castletown rather than United's home ground of Ham Park.

A minute's silence was observed before kick-off by both teams along with match officials and a large crowd of spectators.

Speaking after the game, which Pentland United won 5-0, co-manager Michael Gray described Liam as "a real diamond of a guy".

Gray said: “It is obviously quite an emotionally charged day. Liam was a former player, a local lad and a really good guy.

“It's an absolute tragedy for his family, the village and everybody that knew him.

“He had so much to live for. He was maturing into a very fine young man.

“He liked a laugh and a joke, but from his career point of view he was so mature in his thinking, and how he was going to do things, and his commitment."

Liam Mackay from Dunnet was described as 'a real diamond of a guy'.
Liam Mackay from Dunnet was described as 'a real diamond of a guy'.

Gray visited Liam's family on Friday along with Martin Nicolson, another member of the Pentland United management team.

“It was heartbreaking when we went round to see the family," Gray said. "There is no way we could have this level of crowd going into the village today – it would have been completely inappropriate.

“He played for a few years and he was a real character. We've got fond memories of Liam, but not enough of them.

“He was a real diamond of a guy – you would never hear anybody say a bad word about him.”

The accident involving Liam's motorcycle and a Vauxhall Astra happened around 8am on Friday outside Castletown.

The driver and passenger of the car were checked over by the Scottish Ambulance Service but did not require hospital treatment.

The road was closed while crash investigation work was carried out and reopened around 2.35pm.

Liam's family described him as "a loving son, brother, grandson and friend”.


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