Din­ner for Ryan was ‘the best yet’

The Oban Times - - NEWS - DAVID MCPHEE dm­cphee@oban­times.co.uk

THIS year’s Ryan MacPhail me­mo­rial din­ner has been de­scribed as the most suc­cess­ful to date.

The an­nual din­ner raised a to­tal of just over £13,000, which will go to clubs and or­gan­i­sa­tions around Oban, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s char­i­ties.

This year’s event was so suc­cess­ful thanks to the in­tro­duc­tion of a raf­fle, as op­posed to the auc­tion that typ­i­cally takes place.

The din­ner is held in the Ar­gyll­shire Gath­er­ing Halls and it is fol­lowed by a series of guest speak­ers.

Speak­ing at the event this year were the former Manchester United, Rangers and North­ern Ire­land star Jimmy Ni­choll, the former Celtic and Scot­land player Tosh McKin­lay and John McK­elvie, a re­tired po­lice­man and foot­ball ref­eree.

Alan MacPhail said: ‘It was very suc­cess­ful. It was a great night. I would say that’s the best in re­gards to rais­ing money that we’ve had.

‘That was the first time that we have done a raf­fle. Ev­ery other year we have just done an auc­tion. We had this raf­fle that the girls got to­gether and it was bril­liant. It was a good idea and they did it live on Face­book.

‘John MacKelvie stood in for Sandy Strang, who was orig­i­nally com­ing to the din­ner, but he took not well and had to can­cel.

‘John is a re­tired po­lice­man. But he is on the af­ter- din­ner cir­cuit and he is an ex-ref­eree.

‘The whole thing was ex­cel­lent. All the speak­ers were re­ally good. They spoke about their ca­reers – it was good ban­ter. John MacKelvie just did sto­ries about his life be­tween the ref­er­ee­ing and his ca­reer in the po­lice. It was all good fun.

‘It was a sell- out. That was prob­a­bly as busy as it has ever been. It was cer­tainly a full house. I don’t think Amanda could have fit­ted many more in. It was to the brim.

‘The money raised is all spent lo­cally.’

Amanda MacPhail added: ‘ The money helps a mix. It goes to any­thing un­der-18 such as youth foot­ball teams, shinty, rugby, sick chil­dren, school trips – any­thing.

‘The night was great. One of the best, I would say. I think we’ve raised the most money on this one.

‘I’d like to say thanks to every­one for the con­tin­ued sup­port and hope­fully they will sup­port us ev­ery year. How­ever, we couldn’t do it with­out the staff.’

For more in­for­ma­tion and to stay up to date regarding next year’s event, visit Ryan MacPhail Me­mo­rial Fund on Face­book.

All pho­to­graphs: Kevin McG­lynn

Top: The top ta­ble at the Ryan MacPhail me­mo­rial din­ner, from left, chair­man John Horne, Alan MacPhail, co-founder of the char­ity with his wife Amanda, Jason MacPhail, Celtic leg­end Tosh McKin­lay, former Rangers star Jimmy Ni­choll and John MacKelvie.

Above right: Time for a chat be­fore Tosh McKin­lay, Jimmy Ni­choll and John McK­elvie en­ter­tain din­ers.

Above left: Graham An­der­son, Jack Bax­ter and John MacGre­gor from R A Cle­ment As­soc en­joy­ing a beer. Be­low left: Innes Clark, left, and An­gus MacPher­son get to grips with Celtic leg­end Tosh McKin­lay.

Be­low right: John Horne, left, and Alan MacPhail, with Roddy McCuish, cen­tre. Far right: Father and son Ruar­idh and Mark Kain en­joy­ing the din­ner.

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