A new name is flying high in the quest for Angus sporting supremacy.
And the battle is being fought in the skies above the Basin as Montrose Magpies joined a prestigious list of UK towns and villages taking an honorary position in the league table of Harry Potter’s favourite sport.
Angus Provost Ronnie Proctor used more traditional means than a Nimbus 2000 broom to attend the ceremony for the handover of a banner honouring the town’s fictitious quidditch team in a new book by the wizard’s creator J K Rowling.
The Quidditch Through The Ages Illustrated Edition is set to be an instant hit with Potter fans and towns featured in the wizarding world’s league are being presented with decorative banners based on goal hoops in the colours of their local team.
Alongside the Angus standard, banners will also fly for the Appleby Arrows, Ballycastle Bats, Caerphilly Catapults, Falmouth Falcons, Holyhead Harpies, Kenmare Kestrels, Pride of Portree, Tutshill Tornados, Wigtown Wanderers and Wimborne Wasps.
The Chudley Cannons and Puddlemere United from fictitious quidditch towns are also on the roll of honour.
Mr Proctor, who was joined by local Harry Potter fans Euan and Fern Marshall on the banks of Montrose Basin for the banner presentation said he hoped the quidditch connection would add another string to the Angus tourism bow.
Mr Proctor said: “Harry Potter’s favourite sport brings joy to children and adults across the world, and this decorative banner, emblazoned with the town’s team colours, shows our support for our beloved quidditch team.”
The banner will go on display outside the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Montrose Basin wildlife centre where magpies have more recently joined the long list of breeding birds recorded there.
Lochside Primary School pupil Fern, 10, said: “I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and dream of playing quidditch, so I’m really happy to find out that I now live in an Honorary Quidditch Town. I loved visiting the sign and it’s great that Montrose has been honoured in this way.”
In the world of Rowling’s wizard creation, Montrose Magpies can claim bragging rights as the country’s most successful side with more than 30 League Cup triumphs and double glory on the Euro stage.
The Quidditch Through the Ages Illustrated Edition, written by J K Rowling and illustrated by Emily Gravett, is being published by Bloomsbury Publishing in aid of Comic Relief and Lumos.
Despite the Magpies being a fictitious team, Courier country has played a part on Scots success on the real-life quidditch field.
The team game – based on JK Rowling’s fictional contest – has become a competitive sport in its own right and is now played by thousands of players across the world.
Chasers, keepers, beaters and bludgers all feature in the real-life version, in which a slightly deflated volleyball is the quaffle which teams try to get through three hoopes before the snitch – a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow – is caught.
The quidditch presentations follow last week’s unveiling of a statue in London’s Leicester Square, depicting the memorable moment actor Daniel Radcliffe took flight on his Nimbus 2000 broom over the Hogwarts pitch for the very first time in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.