STATEMENT: Everyone at Nairn County has been saddened to hear of the passing of the club’s former assistant manager, Ally Macleod after a brave battle with Leukaemia. He was 37.
Macleod came to the club following a highly-successful spell as the coach of the Brora Rangers under-19s squad, guiding them to the latter stages of the Scottish Youth Cup on two occasions, where they enjoyed glamorous away ties at both Rangers and Celtic. He also took his charges to the Highland Youth League (West) title in his final campaign at Dudgeon Park before clinching the overall Highland Youth League championship with playoff success at MacKessack Park.
Nairn enjoyed major success during Macleod’s time as assistant manager, winning the 2010/11 Highland League (Morganti) Cup with a 4-0 final victory over Fraserburgh before taking home the North of Scotland Cup in October 2012 thanks to a 2-1 AET win over Wick Academy. That same season, the club reached the third round of the Scottish Cup, defeating SPFL League Two side Clyde 3-2 at Station Park following a 3-3 draw at Broadwood before also taking League One Forfar Athletic to a replay following a dramatic 3-3 draw in Angus, where County battled back from 3-0 down at half time before eventually going down 3-2 in the replay.
His last match in the Nairn dugout was the 3-1 home win over Forres Mechanics on December 28th 2013, after which he took time out to concentrate on his recovery following his original diagnosis with Myelofibrosis in September 2011.
Macleod returned to football when he was appointed as the manager of Deveronvale in October 2015 where he served for just under a year, leaving Princess Royal Park the following September. He then served as a coach under Grant Munro’s management of Brora Rangers during the 2016/17 season.
Club Chairman Donald Matheson commented: “We are all absolutely devastated to have received this truly awful news today. The thoughts of everyone at Nairn County go out to Ally’s family, friends and especially his wife, Alanna at this terrible time.
“Ally was a brave character who showed his fighting spirit when tackling this disease. He was a fantastic and intelligent coach who put so much into his football - he simply just immersed himself in it and was determined to be successful. He played a major part in the successes the club enjoyed during his time here and to have been a successful Highland League coach with various clubs despite having never played football at this level tells you all you need to know about his ability and hard work as a coach.
“He was always happy to chat away about football whenever he returned to Station Park as a spectator or an opponent and he never showed any signs of allowing the disease which was to claim his life getting the better of him or detract from his enjoyment of football. He will be sorely missed.”