Campaign to honour Siobhan Cattigan will continue at Scotland matches amid call for independent review

A campaign to honour the memory of Siobhan Cattigan will continue throughout the autumn Tests, with supporters urged to applaud during the eighth minute of Saturday’s Scotland v Fiji match at Murrayfield and subsequent home games against New Zealand and Argentina.

Siobhan Cattigan was capped 19 times by Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Siobhan Cattigan was capped 19 times by Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Cattigan, who usually wore No 8 and was capped 19 times by Scotland, died in November 2021, aged 26. Her parents believe their daughter’s death was caused by an undetected brain injury, which led to her succumbing to an irrational thought and impulsive action.

Allan MacDonald, a doctor based in Inverness, suggested the tribute ahead of the opening autumn Test against Australia last weekend. With the blessing of her family, he used social media to generate support using the hashtags #RememberSiobhan and #8thminuteOvation.

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“If the SRU won’t do it, it’s up to us as fans to make sure we remember this fantastic player who was gone too soon,” Dr MacDonald tweeted. “I’m suggesting that we have an 8th minute ovation during the AIs [autumn internationals] to honour her memory and to let the SRU know we won’t forget.”

Dr MacDonald is a keen rugby fan whose daughter was inspired to take up the game after watching Cattigan play. He was pleased with the numbers who paid tribute last Saturday and hopes support will grow. “There’s been a good uptake in terms of sharing and likes on social media but you never knew how that’s going to translate into action,” continued Dr MacDonald. “But there were good islets of support, with people standing up and clapping and it is audible on the TV coverage. The idea was always to get it to grow over the Autumn Nations. People came and asked us about it during the game and we had the chance to explain, so I’m very hopeful more will join in this Saturday.”

Cattigan’s family's concerns about the way their daughter’s injury was dealt with has led them to open legal proceedings against the SRU. The governing body has resisted calls for an independent review but Dr MacDonald believes that is what should happen. “This is a serious adverse event and therefore there should be a serious adverse event review,” he said. “If we do that in the hospital, it’s an independent doctor chairing it. It’s the independent thing of not marking your own homework.”

Scotland fans applaud in memory of Siobhan Cattigan during the eighth minute of the match against Australia. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

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