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Recognisable on and off the park: Fort William FC get their own tartan

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A Highland League football club will launch its very own tartan this weekend.

Fort William Football Club’s tartan has been created by Lochaber exile James Burns, who still holds the club dear to his heart despite now living in Pescara, Italy.

The scarves reverses the club’s traditional colours and are a mainly black base with yellow stripes.

James Burns

Mr Burns, a former mechanical engineer, said: “It is an idea that came to me since I have left Scotland. I think when you do leave you become more Scottish, and I have always looked back and tried to keep in touch with my roots.

“Tartan is always something I have liked and possibly more so since I moved abroad.

“I just thought Fort William Football Club having a tartan of their own would be a really good thing.

“The club has been great and has allowed me to get on with it and I have kept them as up to speed with it along the way.”

The tartan will officially be launched tomorrow as The Fort take on Keith in the Scottish Cup at Kynoch Park. All proceeds from sales will go straight back into the club.

Mr Burns has said the project has been a labour of love and feels he is doing his “wee bit” for his beloved club.

The club are delighted to announce the launch of our very own club tartan. Initially by way of scarves which will be…

Posted by Fort William F.C. (Official) on Saturday, 5 December 2020

He added: “It is one of the proudest and most rewarding things I have ever done.

“I think it is a good idea, everyone I have spoken to also thinks it’s a good idea and we just hope the good followers of Fort William do too.

“The club is a massive brand and have such a tremendous following despite not having the greatest of success over the years.

“I was at Claggan Park last November and the game was cancelled unfortunately but there were guys who had travelled overnight from Essex. Twelve of them had come up to watch a Fort William game so it just goes to show how big a following they have.

“The tartan gives the clubs something a wee bit more upmarket and unique from the traditional hooped scarves most clubs have used since the 50s.”

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Mr Burns had hoped to be at Kynoch Park to help distribute the scarves, but due to current travel restrictions he will miss out.

He added: “I have done all this over the internet which is not ideal and not the way I like to work but we have been able to make a success of it.

“I played football as a kid and I saw the effort a lot of people from the generation above me put into the game and this is me just trying to do my wee bit.”

Scarves will be available to purchase for £20 via the club and also at the Scottish Cup round two match in Keith.

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