Ulster Rugby vs Munster


This month saw the end of an era as David Boyd, who has contributed so much to rugby in Ulster as both a volunteer and as an employee, retired from his post as Ulster Rugby's Stadium Manager.


David had previously held the position of Domestic Rugby Manager, beginning some 15 years ago, and took up his new role in 2013 to oversee the redevelopment of the stadium at Ravenhill. Prior to joining Ulster Rugby as an employee, David had spent decades cheering the team on from the terraces and was heavily involved in volunteering at Ballyclare RFC as a coach and administrator of mini and youth rugby. He was also the Team Manager of the Ulster U18 Youth squad for a number of years. Speaking at his retirement function, David reflected: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an employee of Ulster Rugby. Being Domestic Rugby Manager had its challenges, at one stage I had 53 staff who were reporting into me, but it was extremely rewarding. “Seeing how under-age rugby, female rugby and disability rugby, which were virtually non-existent, have developed over the past 15 years has been really pleasing. I have made many friends right across the Province, and further afield, I’ve learnt a great deal and I have many fond memories.” When asked for a single highlight, David has little hesitation in giving his answer… “The U19 World Championships, which were held here in Belfast in 2007. We had 24 full international teams here for 4 weeks. They played 60 games of rugby in the space of 3 weeks and at 6 different venues. “There are six current All Blacks who played in that tournament, Ulster favourite Wiehahn Herbst represented South Africa, and there were many more, such as Wales and Lions fullback, Leigh Halfpenny. “It was two years of very hard work, it was a massive undertaking and it involved a great team effort. The real challenge was that we had to deliver the event alongside our existing work, within both the professional and domestic structures.”

With the redevelopment of the stadium a few years ago, the opportunity arose for David to take over as Stadium Manager, and it’s a role he has relished. “It was a very rewarding and enlightening time for me. It’s a stadium that we are all very proud of and I think it compares favourably with the stadiums of other rugby teams in Europe. The stadium opening in May 2014 and the hosting of the PRO12 final in May 2015 were undoubtedly the highlights of my time as Stadium Manager.” Commenting upon his retirement, IRFU (Ulster Branch) President, John McKibbin, said: “David was highly regarded by Committee members and colleagues, as well as club and school representatives. He was well-known and liked at clubs across the Province and has contributed a great deal to rugby in Ulster as both a volunteer and as an employee. We wish him well in his retirement.”



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