Hamish Davidson, giant of games circuit, dies at 63

Hamish Davidson, left, with Geoff Capes at the Milk International Highland Games in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 1981.
Hamish Davidson, left, with Geoff Capes at the Milk International Highland Games in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 1981.
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Hamish Davidson, one of the most popular and successful “heavies” on the Highland games circuit, has died at the age of 63.

A man of gargantuan physique and character, Davidson was a prolific winner around the games with many of his caber and shot-putt records still standing to this day.

Hamish Davidson meets Princess Anne at a strongmen event in Glenrothes, 1984.

Hamish Davidson meets Princess Anne at a strongmen event in Glenrothes, 1984.

As a heavyweight athlete, he competed with huge success against some of the all time greats – including Geoff Capes, Grant Anderson and Bill Anderson.

Born in Inverness, he originally farmed at Cawdor, near Nairn, and did much of his weight-training in a cow shed.

An amateur shot-putt champion, he turned to the professional Highland Games circuit after being left out of the then strictly amateur Commonwealth Games team in 1978. The selectors must have regretted their decision, because he went on to have a stellar career - although he was no stranger to brushes with the authorities.

He won Scottish, British and world Highland games records. He competed with distinction in early televised strongman events against the likes of Capes. In the Britain’s Strongest Man competition, he won the “battery hold” with a world record.

Scottish athlete Hamish Davidson in shot putt action in 1973. He gave up amateur athletics after failing to make the Scotland team for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

Scottish athlete Hamish Davidson in shot putt action in 1973. He gave up amateur athletics after failing to make the Scotland team for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.

Fellow athlete and friend Neil Elliott said: “He was a legendary character. There are hilarious stories about him. He was probably the strongest Scotland has produced, an all time great. He’ll be sorely missed.”