Iain Hughes honoured to be named Lord Cornet-elect

Iain is delighted to have been chosen as Lord Cornet-elect. Photo courtesy of John Prior

The Lanimer Committee has selected Iain Hughes as Lord Cornet-elect for 2017.

Iain is president of Lanark Rugby Club and has lived in the town all his life. He is a detective constable with Police Scotland and is married to Suzanne. They have a six-week-old son, Noah, and are kept company by Carter the dog.

The 38-year-old received the news last weekend and it came as both a huge shock and honour.

Iain said: “I was nightshift on Friday night into Saturday morning. I was late in getting finished so I tried to fight sleep and not go to bed but eventually succumbed. I was lying on top of the bed and was pretty much fast asleep and then the doorbell went three times. Carter was barking at the door and I thought ‘three times? They’re persistent’. I managed to pull myself together and get up, just as they were walking away from the door. Loraine Swan was there and then Kenny Lean came round the corner with the Cornets’ Club tie on and as I was coming out of my sleep, it very quickly dawned on me that this was ‘the chap on the door’.

“I thought ‘I’m not ready for this, literally!’ I was incredibly humbled and privileged to be asked. Suzie was out at the time with Noah and then they came back to the house and I discussed it with Suzie and, with her blessing, I was delighted to accept.

“It’s a huge, huge honour and everybody’s comments have been very humbling. Having just passed through such an event in our lives as Noah being born, and that being our first child, I was humbled by all the gifts and cards and well wishes. Just as we managed to get rid of the newborn baby cards and the Christmas cards, then this happens and there’s cards all over the house again!”

The Hughes family welcomed lots of well-wishers into their home on Saturday night, including a large number of ex-Lord Cornets.

“It was great to speak to Jim Forrest, the Lord Cornet from 1998,” Iain added. “I received my Burgess Ticket last September, Jim got his the year before and I was present when he received his. He gave a speech that I still remember to this day where he spoke about volunteering in the community and how that’s the strength of the community. It really resonated with me, as that’s what we do at the Rugby Club.

“There’s so many great organisations in Lanark from dance schools, football teams and panto clubs and they all do this off their own back because they want to do it which inspires me, makes me proud to be a Lanarkian and stay in Lanark. To be asked to be Lord Cornet for 2017, if I needed any icing on the cake with Noah being born, this is certainly it.”

Iain’s rugby career began aged 15 when he played for Lanark Grammar. He then joined Dalziel Rugby Club before playing for the Police team when he joined the service. He then joined Lanark Rugby Club and was appointed vice captain, before taking on the role of captain and then president. Iain went on to establish the Lanark Eagles and School of Rugby at Lanark Grammar, helping to inspire the next generation of players in the town.

Lanark Rugby Club is an important part of Iain’s life and he is determined to do is very best for the town, with several riding lessons already in the pipeline. “I’m a total novice but I’m not the first one. You don’t get picked on your horse riding abilities, thankfully!

“Some of the Rugby Club boys came down on Saturday night and they were all absolutely delighted. They’re over the moon for me. The Rugby Club still has a big part to play at the Lanimers and we’ll still do the Marches, I’ll just get it organised that bit sharper!

“Marches Night is a big thing for me because I remember when Davie Murdoch got a picture taken at the top of the High Street with Lanark and District Pipe Band, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get my picture taken on Marches Night with the Rugby Club. I can stand there with the guys from my club, which will be a really proud moment for me.

“I’m incredibly humbled. The well-wishers have been fantastic. The honour and pride I feel is tremendous. It’s an incredible feeling and I’m almost lost for words in how to describe it.

“I said to Stephen Pillans that I feel incredibly humbled but I’m sure that’s a feeling that every Cornet-elect has because everybody wants you to do well and be the best Cornet you possibly can; and that’s what I’ll be.”