Bathgate Thistle 2009s were devastated in January of this year when Owen Shaw, one of their brightest lights, sadly passed away after a short illness.  Owen was not only a brilliant team-mate to all the children involved at this age group he was also a terrific friend as well.  In memory of Owen his coaches organised a tournament to be played out by his teammates and Creamery Park was honoured to host the first of this annual event.

The morning began with all of those present, children and adults alike,  standing round the centre-circle and delivering a wonderfully heartfelt round of applause in memory of Owen.

The event itself was a terrific success and the sun shone warmly as the competition was played out in terrific fashion.  Our young stars competed in a series of four-a-side games in a league format with the   top two sides battling it out a thrilling final to decide the winning team.  It was absolutely brilliant to see the competition so ably organised by the coaches and parents.  Our Junior side manager, Andrew Colley was also in attendance alongside his assistant David Strathie.  Club skipper Graham Baird and several teammates were also there to support the children.  Those children who weren’t participating in the final match joined forces to take on a select team of our Junior players who were no match for the enthusiasm, energy and skill of their much younger opponents.  The 2009s ran out clear winners.

Owen’s mum Karen and Granddad Jimmy presented medals to our winners – the yellow team – and the wide, beaming smiles on all the player’s faces were clear for all to see.  A special trophy (to become an annual award) was then presented to the child who has best demonstrated the attributes and behaviours that Owen himself displayed in abundance;  enthusiasm, willingness to learn, attentiveness and team-work.  This years winner was Robbie who received a special round of applause from his friends and all the adults in attendance.

There is no doubt that Owen has left an indellible mark on all of those luckily enough to have known him during his short life but this event will ensure that the memories he has left will never be forgotten.

One of Owen’s coaches, Darran Meikle, wrote a terrific piece on his blog about the day and what it meant to him and it can be found here: