Gary Malone nailed it far better than Dale Earnhardt.
‘Who they?’ some might ask, but in the balloon-festooned finery of last Thursday night’s 2016 Angus Sports Awards in Forfar’s Reid Hall it’s a fair bet that more of the company might have been familiar with the first mentioned Voluntary Action Angus chief than the latter US stock car racer known as The Intimidator.
The NASCAR charger once famously declared that second is just the first placed-loser.
Cliched it may have been, but from my vantage point I was instead full square behind Mr Malone’s alternative assessment that everyone there was a winner.
Over its 21 years the awards have hailed sportspeople at national, Commonwealth, Olympic and world level; their clubs, coaches and the legions of unsung local heroes.
One of those Olympians had been lined up weeks ago as a special guest for the birthday bash and sporting serendipity meant that we had in our midst newly-decorated European indoor athletics medallist Eilish McColgan, proudly clutching the 3,000m Belgrade bronze she battled to win just a few days’ previously.
McColgan’s Dundee Hawkhill buddy Laura Muir deservedly grabbed the headlines for her double gold display in the Kombank Arena, but there can be no doubting how much a first senior medal has meant to the 26-year-old whose svelte frame has firmly booted adversity out of the park – albeit at the cost of a left foot with enough medical scaffolding in it now to set the airport security alarm off quicker than any glittering gong around her neck.
Delighted as the Reid Hall company were with the track queen in their midst, so too would Eilish have been suitably impressed by the breadth and depth of nominees from across myriad sports and every corner of the county.
So hats off to Edzell’s Catriona Steele whose Tae-Kwon Do talent saw her named 2016 Sports Personality of the Year after a goldrush year at Scottish and World level.
Overwhelmed Catriona told the Reid Hall crowd she was “just a mum”.
That’s as wide of the mark as Mr Earnhardt trying to have us believe that there were any losers in the Reid Hall.