Rugby giant and ‘true gentleman’ ‘led the sport through some of its most defining moments’, funeral told

Rugby giant and ‘true gentleman’ ‘led the sport through some of its most defining moments’, funeral told

Family, acquaintances, and former teammates of Sydney Millar, who was once a rugby star, gathered in his hometown for a service of thanksgiving for his life. Millar has been called “one of Ballymena’s true gentlemen.”

Mr. Millar, an 89-year-old former player and coach for the British & Irish Lions, was the former chairman of the International Rugby Board, which is now known as World Rugby. He passed away on Sunday.

Over the course of a dozen years, he played 37 times for Ireland; in 1958, he made his Test debut. During three tours between 1959 and 1966, he played 39 times for the Lions, making even more appearances.

After serving as Ireland’s manager for three years, Mr. Millar went on to coach the Lions during their contentious 1974 tour of South Africa, which took place during the apartheid era. In addition, he was Ireland’s coach during the team’s 1987 World Cup bid and the manager of the Lions upon their return to South Africa in 1980.

As an administrator, Millar was elected president of the Ulster Rugby Union in 1985, chairman of the Lions in 1999, president of the IRFU in 1995, and chairman of the IRFU in 2003. In 2009, he was admitted to the International Rugby Hall of Fame. During his career, he has also received the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honor, as well as the CBE and MBE.

“He was just Syd to most of us,” he remarked.

“He had the most incredible career in every facet of the game.

After graduating from Ballymena Academy at the age of 16, he entered the Merchant Navy and later adopted a career that required him to travel the globe, frequently spending months away from home.

He went on to work for Procter & Gamble, Shell, and Scotts of Toomebridge, where he rose to the position of managing director in a lucrative business career. It most likely shaped him into the resilient person he became.

And at some point, when he had some free time on a Saturday, he wed Enid.

“Until last year, he was a great-grandfather, a proud grandfather, a spouse, a father, and a proud son.

However, it was in rugby that Syd Millar’s name rose to prominence. Mr. McIlrath delivered a tribute from Sir Bill Beaumont, the current chair of World Rugby, which stated that Millar was a “giant of the game on the global stage.”

“His impact in the boardroom matched that of a player, coach, or manager.

He had a strong sense of responsibility for the future, the people, the sport, and the ideals. He was a born leader.

“He guided the game through some of its most pivotal periods. He will be sorely missed and served as an inspiration to many, including me.

“Sydney was born on May 23, 1934, the eldest of six children,” Rev. Daniel Kane spoke to the mourners. Along with his siblings, Audrey, Reba, and Bee, as well as his brothers, Trevor, and Jimmy, he had a joyful upbringing in Ballymena.

“In the summer of 1951, he went to Portrush to meet Enid Blelock, and they courted one other until the summer of 1961, when they were married. The young couple’s lives as newlyweds started in Portad.

own, at which point Syd was a British & Irish Lions player and a full-time member of the Irish team.

Two benefits came at the same time in 1962. Syd was chosen for a quick four-month trip to South Africa with the British & Irish Lions, while Enid was heavily pregnant. Enid’s strength of character and determination were apparent at this time when she insisted that Syd go on tour and that she handle household duties. And that’s precisely what took place. When Syd came back, he saw Peter half-reared. The following year saw the birth of Jonathan, and Lesley not long after.

“Syd’s playing and coaching career was coming to an end in the late 1970s.

His rugby responsibilities were now mostly focused on administration through World Rugby and Irish Rugby.

Few people have the chance to eat in palaces, enjoy cocktails aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and mingle with notable international figures like Nelson Mandela and the late Queen.

They traveled the globe with Enid, stopping in renowned locations and going to events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games that are beyond the reach of most people.

“His impact on rugby has been hailed as nothing short of amazing on the international front. However, Sydney never lost his independence. None of it was able to enter his mind. He remained firmly planted on the earth. He never changed from being quite modest and low-key.

Syd’s son Johnny gave the gathering his parting remarks, saying, “They say you should never meet your hero in life, because they will always disappoint you. Our father was our hero, and he did not let us down.

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