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Clontarf RFC’s Harry Brooks has been voted the rugby winner in the inaugural National Volunteer In Sport Awards, a Government-led project which pays tribute to the individual act of volunteering in Irish sport.

Brooks, aged 80, received his award from John O’Donoghue, the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, at a ceremony at Farmleigh on Thursday.

He was selected, along with seven other winners, from the hundreds of nominations received from around the country. The awards committee was chaired by Ronnie Delany, Ireland’s gold medal hero at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

A very likeable figure and the archetypal ‘club’ man, Harry has given 53 years of outstanding service to Clontarf RFC and shows no sign of calling a halt to his love affair with the club.

Harry Brooks at 80

Hailed as a real living legend down Castle Avenue way, the gentle-mannered Harry has helped out both on and off the pitch down through the years, “running the line” as a touch judge on many occasions.

More recently, he has been in charge of the Clontarf pitches which he has restored to excellent condition thanks to his own remedial work, carried out last summer. He has grass cutting and pitch marking down to a fine art!

Acting as anything from a caretaker to club president, Harry has always had a fondness for taking players that are new to the club ‘under his wing’, particularly those from overseas. And the high regard he is held in can be seen just by the numbers of ex ‘Tarf players that manage to keep in contact wiith him.

For the record, Harry was Clontarf RFC President during the 1981/82 season and was officially made an Honorary Life member of the north Dublin club in ’86. His unstinting work was recognised by the Leinster Branch in 2005 as he scooped the province’s Volunteer of the Year award.

Congratulations Harry on your latest award win from all at IrishRugby.ie!