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In pictures: baton relay day 17 - Aberdeen

A footballing hero has set the Queen's Baton off on the latest leg of its epic journey.

A dog waves 'cheers' on the baton with a flag as it makes its way through the Bridge of Don. Picture by Chris Radburn.
A dog waves 'cheers' on the baton with a flag as it makes its way through the Bridge of Don. Picture by Chris Radburn.

Willie Miller turned his hand to a different sport as he hit a drive at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club to mark the start of the 265th day of the baton relay, which today travels through the north east city.

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The baton was not the only piece of silverware on display at the golf club as the Scottish Open trophy was also on the first tee ahead of the tournament, which is being held at the course next month.

Miller, who won the European Cup Winners' Cup and many other trophies during his time as captain of Aberdeen, said he was nervous preparing for the opening shot.

"It was quite nerve-wracking standing up with everyone watching but I was delighted to be part of the baton and help it on its way," the 59-year-old said.

"I was more nervous than usual teeing off, that's for sure. It's not my sport but I enjoy playing."

Despite the Games being held almost 150 miles away in Glasgow, Miller was pleased to see people in Aberdeen get behind the baton relay.

"I come from the east end of Glasgow where the Games will be predominantly based so I've kind of got a foot in both camps and it was nice to help out.

"I think it's important that the whole country joins in and enjoys the occasion. It doesn't happen too often so when these big events are held its good that people living elsewhere can feel part of it."

Golf is not part of the Commonwealth Games but Mr Morrison believes 2014 will be remembered as a fantastic year for Scottish sport in general.

He said: "I'm captain of the club this year and was appointed in May and it's one of the most memorable years to be captain I think.

"We are hosting the baton relay and then have the Scottish Open in about 10 days, I've landed lucky if you like and it's just the most memorable experience for me.

"Golf isn't part of the Games but I don't think there can have been a bigger year for sport in Scotland with them, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the Scottish Open here. They're massive global events and will put Scotland on the map."

The baton is being carried by nominated people throughout the city and will travel on a "Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft", a type of lifeboat used on oil platforms, as it moves closer to its final destination, the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony on July 23.

Olympic gold medallist canoeist Tim Baillie, former smallbore rifle champion Jim Cole-Hamilton and Neil Stirton, former sprint shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, are some of the baton-bearers on the latest stage.

Union Terrace Gardens in the heart of Aberdeen will host the evening celebrations tonight, with swimmer and double Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Carry bringing the baton on stage.

Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam said: "There is a real buzz around the city.

"It is a fabulous spectacle for everyone to enjoy and remember for years to come as communities come together to cheer on the runners as the baton makes its way through the Granite City."

Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said: "The Queen's Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in the city of Aberdeen and journey through Scotland is an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.

"We hope everyone the length and breadth of the country will get behind the team and play their part in what is going to be an amazing home Games."

Tomorrow, the baton visits the Shetland Islands.

Club captain Ian Morrison was the first baton-bearer of the day, which has a particular sporting theme with visits to Pittodrie, home of Aberdeen Football Club, Robert Gordon University and the city's dedicated Sports Village. Picture by Ben Birchall.

Sheila Reid shows off the baton to the crowds as she makes her way through the Bridge of Don. Picture by Chris Radburn.

Lyndzie Jeffrey carries the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton through Danestone in Aberdeen. Picture by Ben Birchall.

Marsali Craig lets some youngsters see the 2014 Queen's Baton up close as she passes through Northfield. Picture by Chris Radburn

Timothy Baillie, Scottish slalom canoer, takes the Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton to the water by paddling in a canoe on the River Dee. Picture by Chris Radburn.

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