Sharks story begins in 1982 when a bunch of school mates (aged between 10 and 14) form a five a side team and begin playing friendly matches.
The makeshift side consisted of Mike & Ian Mackay, David Terrace, Kevin McGillivray, Jimmy Mcallister, William Morrison, Kevin Gunn and Colin Earnshaw.
All these boys live in the Atomic area of Thurso within a few hundred yards of one another.
Other occasional players included Mike Walkey, Keith Mackay, Peter and David Mcallister.
Several of the lads played football for the Swifts under 14’s – a team which loses regularly. It’s only under their OWN side where they were regularly win matches.
By 1983 the gang are playing regular home and away matches against other made up squads from around the Caithness County.
Alex and Graeme Mains side
A popular destination was Castletown which involved cycling five miles, often with hilarious results – as with the time star striker Kevin McGillivray drew the short straw and had to cycle out on a Retro Raleigh Chopper!
The frontman had outgrown his own bike at the time and this 1970’s monstrosity was far from ideal for distance traveling.
Kevin was the last bike to arrive in Castletown and the legendary finisher was physically exhausted – and way too knackered to deliver a performance!
This fledgling Shark side didn’t have a proper team name back in these early days of football, nor was there a proper manager or kit.
These important pointers would arguably become a part of the tradition!
Other opposition back in the 1980’s
Tam Mackay’s side
These great rivals featured Ian Mackay, Don Henderson, Ralph Pringle, Steven Barrowman and Charlie & Thomas Newlands.
Games were always finally balanced and victory could go either way.
Brian Usher`s team
These guys played primarily on Pennyland Primary School football park, but occasionally they’d meet up the back of Thurso Moors – with a set of goals they made themselves complete with makeshift nets!
Players included Steven & Scott Angus.
Goalkeeper Terrace has bitter memories of one particularly skillful strike by Scotty Angus on a mud drenched Pennyland school pitch.
“He took a deep long ball first time on the chest and finished it on a half-volley – Christ he couldn’t have been a day over 10, but he made me look a right Fanny”
No big changes there then Terrace!
Fred Trueman’s team
Fred had a bunch of mates who’d occasionally turn up at Viewfirth field.
Back then the Viewfirth was split into two fields via a wall. They would be on the side closest to the Viewfirth building while our boys played on the side closest to the Ormlie Lodge Hostel. Occasionally we make or accept a challenge and skip across the wall to give them a game. We lost quite often unless we had our strongest side,- largely because Fred’s team was just that bit older than us – I’m sure we could take then now!
Superstar Team Conquered!
Of all the Schoolboy football battles the Shark kids finest took place at the High School.
It was 1985 and they’d been challenged by a team featuring some of the North’s finest talent – including a majority of Thurso High School players.
On paper there could only be one winner but our two top players Kevin and Ian led a Calvary charge that would result in the most improbable of victories.
Nobody remembers the score, but we definitely beat them. Significant because none of our our lads could never possibly have made it into that Thurso High School team. In fact much of this quality opposition was also a part of the legendary Thurso Pentland side – that regularly thumped the Swifts team by double figures!
Although our band of friends had footballing potential, the dream was simply to keep them together and continue playing. But high school was now over, and keeping the side together would remain a challenge.