The history of rugby came alive recently at Belvedere College as the Ray Carroll Rugby Collection was launched at the school by former pupil and Ireland legend Ollie Campbell.
The collection of over 1,300 rugby related books, magazines and match programmes donated by Ray Carroll was officially launched by Ireland and British and Irish Lion Ollie Campbell in the former residence of the Jesuit community in the school.
Ray Carroll is a former pupil of Belvedere College (1956). He began collecting rugby books while still at the school having won his first book in a competition.
Ray went on to play for Old Belvedere and London Irish and has continued collecting books since that first prize. Ray made the donation in 2006 and it has been painstakingly catalogued and stored over the last two years.
The collection has been catalogued by a team from the school including a professional librarian, a professional archivist, teacher Oliver Murphy, who also edited the recent publication ‘Belvedere’s Rugby Heroes’, and a number of pupils.
In launching the collection, Campbell spoke of how one book ‘Bob Scott On Rugby’, which he ‘borrowed’ from Jim Moran many years ago led him to corresponding with the author, a famous New Zealand full-back, and managing to introduce Bob to his own hero Jack Kyle in later years.
Ray recalled his ‘professional’ rugby career when he made a trip from London to Anglesea Road to line out for the club in the number 10 jersey. He was asked to do this as a once-off and managed to continue for seventeen weeks!
Ray, with the help of his wife Liz, made the decision to donate his collection to his old school and was clearly delighted to see the full collection on display in Belvedere House. The books and magazines are on display, while the match programmes will be stored in the college files for reference.
In closing the evening, Oliver Murphy made a presentation to Ollie Campbell of the profits from sale of the book ‘Belvedere’s Rugby Heroes.’ The money will be donated to the IRFU Charitable Trust.
More information on the Ray Carroll Rugby Collection and Belvedere’s Rugby Heroes is available from the college – http://www.belvederecollege.ie/