Jump to main content


The Support Has Been Overwhelming – Henry

The Support Has Been Overwhelming – Henry

It is less than a month since Chris Henry suffered a blocked blood vessel in his brain, and just over a week since he underwent heart surgery to correct a defect in his heart wall.

However, the Ulster and Ireland flanker is already back on the bike and doing light training as he begins the road back to playing.

“It’s been great to be back in amongst the boys. I haven’t been doing too much so far, I’ve just been on the bike for about 30 minutes each day but it’s great to be back in the environment, around the team and being in the mix with everybody,” explained Chris Henry, speaking about his return to the Ulster Rugby gym this week.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

While it was a worrying time for the 30-year-old since the episode at the start of November, he is quick to praise the treatment and expert care he has received from both the Ireland and Ulster medical teams.

“It’s been a scary few weeks to be honest but I feel very lucky that I was in that environment and getting such incredible medical expertise so quickly.

“They got to the bottom of things swiftly and I think that’s the most important thing. When something like that happens, the unknown is the scary thing and to have clarity on what was going on and having the problem fixed so quickly – for me, I feel very lucky.”

The other aspect of the past month that Henry is keen to highlight is the remarkable support that he has received from across the island of Ireland and beyond.

“The only word to describe it is overwhelming. For myself, my family and my girlfriend, the support really was incredible. Players, coaches, past players, fans, the Ulster Branch, the IRFU and the wider rugby community; to have had such brilliant support was overwhelming.”

Now that he has had successful surgery and is back training, his next target is to get back on the pitch for Ulster and Ireland.

“I’ve been told by doctors and especially my mother, to take things very slow, as you’d imagine! So I’m not rushing it but I want to get back, I’m determined to get back, and hopefully I will be before the end of this season,” he added.

“We’ll have to take it week by week, month by month. I’ve got a month of light cardio work to do and then I’ll start ramping it up a bit in the gym and getting back amongst the team. For me it’s building blocks and small steps.”

Rugby supporters from across the island of Ireland are just glad that it is when, not if, Henry will be back in the white and green jerseys.