Tributes have been paid to Skye crofter Willie “Duchan” MacPherson who died close to the site of a wildfire on the island on Thursday evening.
The 85-year-old, who was regarded as a stalwart of Skye Camanachd, is understood to have been found dead outdoors in the Glen Eynort area at about 8pm.
Mr MacPherson’s death is being treated as unexplained, although there are no apparent suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.
A tribute from Skye Camanachd described the family’s strong connection with the club over the years and Mr MacPherson’s “love of shinty”.
It said: “It was with great sadness that everyone at Skye Camanachd heard of the passing of a club stalwart, Willie MacPherson, Eynort on Thursday 15 April 2021.
“Willie ‘Duchan’ MacPherson was one of seven brothers – with Kenny, Lachlan, Alasdair, Neil, Alan and Andy.
“Their father Duncan was a seaman turned crofter whilst mother Margaret was an active local Labour politician who campaigned at a national level and also had a talent for writing.
“Indeed mother Margaret served a period as Skye Camanachd Chieftain whilst Willie’s uncle, Archibald MacPherson, was elected President of the Camanachd Association, serving between 1951 and 1954.”
The statement added: “A well respected figure, Willie was known as a clean-hitting full centre and was as fit as a fiddle.
“Willie played into his 40s and always retained his love of shinty and his interest in Skye Camanachd’s fortunes. His shinty connection continued with son Allan playing for Skye, Aberdeen University and latterly Lewis Camanachd.
“The sympathies from everyone at Skye Camanachd go out to Willie’s wife Una and the extended family.”
Willie MacPherson, Eynort, SkyeIt was with great sadness that everyone at Skye Camanachd heard of the passing of a club…
Skye councillor John Gordon said: “I am very saddened to hear of the passing Willie Duchan.
“Willie comes from a large, well known family who have been involved in many areas of local life, including crofting and shinty, both of which have played a huge part in the MacPherson family for generations.
“Indeed Willie was crofter all his life as well as a true ambassador for shinty, having played with Skye Camanachd for a very long time.
“Willie was a devoted family man and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Due to poor visibility, fire crews had to monitor which way the flames were travelled and were satisfied that there was “no threat to properties” as it was burning away from forestry.
A police spokesman said: “We were made aware of the sudden death of an 85-year-old man in the Glen Eynort area on Skye around 8pm on Thursday, 15 April.
“The death is being treated as unexplained, although there are no apparent suspicious circumstances.
“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal in due course.”