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Versatile Armstrong carved out a distinguished rugby career

Obituary

The funeral service of one of Ulster's most versatile sportsmen, Ken Armstrong, will take place at Roselawn Crematorium this afternoon.

Armstrong, who passed away peacefully on Thursday morning at Craigavon Hospital, won two caps for the Irish rugby side in the early 1960s, making his debut against South Africa at Lansdowne Road.

The Dungannon man, part of a fine tradition of out-halves at Stevenson Park that now includes David Humphreys and Paddy Jackson, also displayed plenty of sporting prowess away from the rugby field.

Having also represented Ulster in basketball, and shown a real knack around the golf course, he was on the books of Leicester City Football Club while studying at Loughborough University.

But it was rugby that held the greatest sway, and Armstrong turned out for North as well as his hometown club over the course of a distinguished Ulster career.

He is often recognised as the province's first modern coach having held the reins for three years between 1968 and 1971, with the side losing only one game in the inter-provincial series under his stewardship.

It was a role he held while also head of P.E at Royal School Dungannon.

Despite being a former Grosvenor pupil, and indeed serving as the school's first Head Boy, he taught at the Royal school for 28 years until his retirement in 1982, leading the rugby side to the Schools' Cup final in 1975.

JB

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