Clachnacuddin Football Club was established in 1885. The name of the club is an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic Clach na Cùdainn, meaning, ‘Stone of the Tub’, a reference to a particular landmark in the club’s locality, the Merkinch area of Inverness. (It is said that Merkinch, which is situated between the Caledonian Canal on the west and the River Ness on the east, was home to a particular stone at which locals would do their washing, hence the ‘tub’.)
In 2017, a very informative letter was written to The Inverness Courier by Alexander Chisholm, a former Clachnacuddin player and chairman, which sheds some light on the early years of the club. Mr Chisholm’s letter states that the club was established ‘by Donald Simpson who wanted a team of his own for the people of the Merkinch. The first Clach team was formed by the army Royal Artillery Volunteers stationed in Telford Road Barracks and played in the Carse on a plot of ground rented from the town council.’
In 1893, Clachnacuddin joined Caledonian, Cameron Highlanders, Forres Mechanics, Inverness Citadel, Inverness Thistle and Inverness Union to form the Highland Football League. Cameron Highlanders, Inverness Citadel and Inverness Union have all ceased operations. In 1994, Caledonian and Inverness Thistle merged to form Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who have competed as professionals since that time. Of these founding members, only Clachnacuddin and Forres Mechanics remain.
Clachnacuddin’s honours include 18 Highland League Championships (the most of any club in the Highland League), five Highland League Cups and 22 North of Scotland Cups. The 1947/48 season proved to be one of the club’s finest, having won the Scottish Qualifying Cup (North), the Highland League Cup, the North of Scotland Cup and the Inverness Charity Cup.
In 1990, the club faced extinction due to financial difficulties, but were rescued by a group of local businessmen, including Charlie Forbes, James Macdonald, Ken Macleod, Calum Grant, Colin Morgan and Alistair and David Dowling.
The current Clachnacuddin badge is interesting, but a bit busy. The two lilies are a play on the club’s nickname, ‘the Lilywhites’, due to their white home strip. For my redesign, I decided to illustrate a single simple, symmetrical lily as a centrepiece. In what might be a somewhat controversial move, I decided to include the club’s name and location in Scottish Gaelic. As Clachnacuddin is the only club in the Highland Football League whose name is Gaelic in origin (not including clubs named after their respective towns), and since Gaelic is a unique, but dying identity marker in the Scottish Highlands, I decided to capitalise on this connection. The two blue line segments in the outer circlet represent the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness, which, as mentioned before, flank Merkinch.
Both the home and away kits are relatively conservative and modern in their presentation, utilising the black, white and gold scheme from the badge.