Highlanders send Christchurch supporter a present after theft

HAPPY SCOTT: Eighty-nine-year-old Jim McLachlan poses with his brand new highlanders jersey and brand new hat.

Support for 89-year-old Scotsman Jim McLachlan has been flooding in after his precious tartan hat was stolen.

Mr McLachlan was on his way home from the pub on his mobility scooter when a cyclist swiped the hat from his head.

The tartan hat was sent to him from Scotland by his mother 50 years ago.

Since The Star reported on the incident last week, people across the country have offered their support to the Glaswegian.

The Highlanders have sent Mr McLachlan, who has been a supporter since their inception in 1996, a game-worn jersey.

“We felt for Jim after hearing his story and thought it would be nice to reward him for his continued and proud support of the Highlanders, even while living in Christchurch,” said marketing manager Amanda Gould.

“We sent him a game-worn number 16 home jersey, usually first off the bench to back up the team when they start to tire as he’s the kind of man we’d like to be able to call on – a staunch southern man.”

Mr McLachlan proudly flies a Highlanders flag on his mobility scooter and suspected his affiliation with them had something to do with the theft.

“It might have been one of those Crusaders supporters, they are pretty one-eyed. I have been dealing with this kind of thing since the Super 12 started,” he said.

He thought the new jersey was a “beauty.”

He was also a big fan of his new herringbone cheese cutter sent from Auckland hat manufacturer Hatworx.

Christchurch’s Devon Marriot said he is organising a mini-concert for Mr McLachlan where he will be treated to a performance from Scottish band, Saltire.

“I was heartbroken for him. I’m a Highlanders supporter myself and one day I will be in a mobility scooter and I just thought he needed something to cheer him up,” he said.

Owner of the Scottish Shop in Dunedin Erin Hogan has also sent Mr McLachlan a brand new tartan hat.

“I just took it straight off the shelf after I read the article,” she said.

Eighty-five-year-old John McDougal of Christchurch has also offered Mr McLachlan his own tartan hat which he bought 60 years ago.

“If he wants it, he can have it,’’ Mr McDougal said.