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David Boyd Smyth: Former Ulster rugby skipper who inspired all who knew him

David Boyd Smyth will be remembered for his love of sport – but most of all for his devotion to his family. David died early on June 18 as a result of an illness that he faced with incredible courage and a quiet dignity that has inspired all who knew him.

In the months leading up to his death, he penned a synopsis of his life in which he described his proudest moments as "my marriage to Nicky and the births of Alan and Keri".

The former Ulster Rugby captain continued: "We have had many great times over the past 29 years that I will cherish forever."

David's passing at the age of 57 has left a void in his family that will be impossible to fill. However, his death has also been keenly felt by those who knew him through his passion for both rugby and golf.

Former Ulster rugby skipper Ian McIlrath said: "David was a fantastic player. He played for Ulster and captained the team as well and, when he stopped playing, he remained committed to the sport.

"In particular, he gave a lifetime of service to Ballymena Rugby Club.

"I used to stand behind the posts with David and watch them play. He never missed a game.

"Despite what he was facing, he never showed any sign of self-pity. I have no idea where he got his strength from."

A keen golfer, David was often seen enjoying a round at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he was a member.

Just a few months ago, he managed a hole-in-one – the second in his lifetime – on the 11th hole of the course.

He enjoyed his last game of golf during a family trip to Edinburgh to celebrate Father's Day just a few weeks ago.

In spite of his deteriorating health, he was determined to make the journey to watch Keri take part in Cancer Research UK's Race For Life.

David's greatest legacy will be this zest for life, the way in which he approached his illness and his determination to seek out the positive in even the most negative situation.

Belfast Telegraph

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