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Willie John McBride: 'Even at 80 I still think what life would've been like if my dad had lived'

Ulster, Ireland and Lions rugby legend Willie John McBride talks about the loss of his father at a young age, keeping busy in later life and the special tour memories

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Going strong: Willie John McBride

Going strong: Willie John McBride

Stephen Hamilton

Playing for the Lions

Playing for the Lions

Getty Images

McBride with his famous Lions mascot during the South African Tour of 1974.

McBride with his famous Lions mascot during the South African Tour of 1974.

Getty Images

Willie John was awarded a CBE

Willie John was awarded a CBE

PA

Willie John with his wife Penny

Willie John with his wife Penny

Going strong: Willie John McBride

It should perhaps have been no surprise that Willie John McBride grew up to become such a respected leader. His mother was too.

Running the family farm after the death of her husband, in the aftermath of the sudden tragedy she promised her offspring that there may never be money but there'd always be food.

She proved true to her word even if there were times her organisational skills would be stretched to the limit.