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Ken Thomson

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ken1.jpgIt is with great regret and deep sadness that I post this note to pay tribute to Ken Thomson, former director of Inverness Caledonian Thistle who passed away earlier today (Friday). Personally I am happy and privileged to have been able to call Ken a friend as well as someone who always tried to do his best at Caley Thistle, sometimes under very challenging circumstances. A man who also liaised with us here at CTO to foster the excellent collaborative relationship we had with the club in recent years.   

ken2.jpgMany people will have known him not only from the football world where he came to the club around 1999/2000 but also from the shinty world where he was president of the Camanachd Association in the early 90s. He was elected president in 1990 but served his time in that association well before coming president. He was on the executive committee in 1978 at the age of 24, and was also a former president of the Camanachd Referees' Association, a former secretary of the North of Scotland Shinty Association, and an organiser of the Aviemore Indoor Sixes. He was goalkeeper for Aberdeen University in the 1973 Sutherland Cup-winning team before turning to refereeing, and also sponsored Strathglass, the club from his home village of Cannich. 

Ken was an extremely important part of our relationship with the club. I would go as far as to say that he was the primary architect of the bond we forged over nearly 20 years.  In the same season where Super Caley went ballistic, Ken reached out to me and we met a few times to discuss how the fledgling (5 year old) CaleyThistleOnline site could help the club communicate with fans and act as a two-way conduit directly with, and to, the board as the internet became a more and more important communication tool. He recognised the significance of the internet before many others did and was open minded enough to embrace it and ourselves and not worry too much about keeping things as insular as they had been for the first few years the club existed. He may have been more AOL than iOS when it came to operating the technology but he understood the importance. 

 In modern day terms he was a supporters liaison officer (SLO) before anyone had ever coined the phrase or even thought supporters were that important ! He was instrumental in helping setup "Boardroom Banter" both times we ran it. He was the man responsible for the live chat sessions we had with the likes of Graeme Bennett and others and he helped us facilitate a number of events where club officials and fans mingled in social settings in the Caley Inn, Caley Club, Innes Bar and even on away trips at times. Over the years he dragged along the chairman, other directors, chief execs and other folk to these get togethers and I believe his input helped forge a bond with many supporters that can never be broken. There are not too many clubs that were as open as Caley Thistle during his time on the board and he is to be applauded and lauded for that. 

Goodnight my friend, you will be missed, but you will never be forgotten.

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Lovely words Scotty about someone 'behind the scenes' who I never knew but who sounds more important to the establishment of the club than any manager or player could be and then some. RIP Ken

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One of the finest directors our club has ever been privileged to have and, although I didn't know him, I know those who did, and have never heard a bad or negative word said about him.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Another member of the ICT family gone too soon.

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Thoughts are with his loved ones. RIP

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What a lovely tribute Scotty. Ive know Ken since pre merger days and he was a great guy. Condolences to his family. Sleep well Ken. Another ICT fan looking down from heaven. 

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That's a fine piece written about a really good bloke!  Ken was a fine man and well respected,  I've known Ken for years and he hasn't been well for a while.

He worked very hard for ICT and achieved a lot for the club in difficult circumstances.

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Fine words Scotty for a very respected gentleman, who did so much for our club. Condolences to his family.

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Well said Scotty - Ken was a lovely person and a true gentleman.  Our paths crossed outside ICT quite a few times over the years but we had a mutual love of ICT.  Ken was so friendly and chatted about our Club, he was a superb ambassador for ICT and I have missed his presence at the Stadium.  Rest well Ken - my sincere sympathy to your lovely Tan and all your nearest and dearest.  

 

Edited by lizi
Missed word

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I can only echo Scotty's word here. I / We have met Ken on a few occasions and I'll never forget that first encounter. He was in awe at the travels of the Gringo's and our support of ICT. A true gent and legend. R.I.P. 

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Lovely service today to remember Ken.  Lots laughter and some tears too.  A fitting tribute to a true gentleman.  

 

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The Greatest Chairman that Caley Thistle never had....and a man I was proud to have as a good friend.

A gentleman of exceptional wit, great candor and endless generosity.

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I just wanted to add some comments about the lovely service put on for Ken (and in many respects planned by the man himself before he passed !).  Sadly my own mother died the day after Ken so I had to make an impromptu trip back to Scotland to take care of things. Her service was the day before Ken's so I was able to pull things together and go along to pay my own tribute to a man who many people knew even if they didn't realise they did. 

As many have said, Ken was a lovely man who was present in many lives through business, sport, or other interests (tatties apparently) and you could see that by the sheer number and diversity of the people who attended. There were representatives from business, from shinty, from football, including several former chairmen of ICT and the current one, and from his personal life. Ken was a man with a sense of humour and his casket was brought into the chapel to the strains of Wild Rover ! Ken did love his Guinness ! (and tatties). Bill McAllister presented the first eulogy for Ken and had people chuckling and feeling thoughtful in equal measure. Ken had apparently offered suggestions to Bill for stuff to include in the eulogy while his condition deteriorated . Not sure if Bill actually used any of it (although the story about how much Ken loved tatties may have been part of it) but Bill spoke both beautifully and emotionally to honour his very dear friend. His words came straight from the heart and the big man would have chuckled, nodded his head and agreed with most if not all of the comments and anecdotes.

I dont think there was a dry eye in the house when the musical interlude was played and a powerpoint of pictures of Ken from very young age, through his university, shinty and football days was played, culminating in pictures of his most recent images enjoying some of his final days with his wife and children. The big man would definitely have approved of this service (even the bits he didnt organise) and I think and he would probably have been flattered by the guard of honour made by the shinty lads from Strathglass  and others who joined the line. 

Goodbye Ken. and to borrow words from Don above - the best chairman we never had ... He worked tirelessly for the club without fanfare .... so much so that I missed the fact in my original post that he was around the club well before 1999-2000, but mainly in the background. I would finally make the point that if we can (deservedly) have a 'Jock MacDonald' stand then knowing now just how much Ken Thomson did for our club and to ensure its survival, what kind of legacy can we have for him? He has well and truly earned that and his place in our history. (and even though he would appreciate it, I don't think we should name the pitch the Ken Thomson tattie field).   

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For anyone who wishes it I have now attached a copy of the order of service which I was able to scan today.  

20190709015917.pdf

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