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Banbridge To Honour Best

Banbridge To Honour Best

Banbridge Rugby Club is set to host a special evening to celebrate one of Ireland’s greatest ever rugby players, Rory Best, in May this year.

‘A celebration of Rory Best’ will take place on the evening of Wednesday 25th May in the Europa Hotel, Belfast. The black-tie event will not only mark the phenomenal achievements of the retired Ireland captain, but will boost fundraising for the club’s ‘Club for All’ development project.

Rory retired at the end of 2019 and the club planned on celebrating his achievements then, but COVID-19 had other ideas. Now that the event is back on, the club and its members are excited to finally get the opportunity to celebrate one of their own.

Guinness Summer Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 7/9/2019 Ireland’s Rory Best with his children Ben, Richie and Penny after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Rory’s chosen charity, Cancer Fund for Children, will also benefit from the event. In September 2021, Rory took on a mammoth challenge to help children across Ireland cope with the impact of cancer diagnosis. He walked an epic 180 miles from Daisy Lodge, Co. Down to the site of Cancer Fund for Children’s new short break centre in Mayo raising over £1,000,000 in the process. He is looking forward to raising more vital funds for the charity through the celebration event.

Club President Maynard Sinton, commented on the event, saying:

“We’re delighted to be able to finally host this event in Rory’s honour. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Banbridge RFC and its members to host an event to celebrate such a legend. We are so proud of Rory and what he has achieved and we’re honoured to play a small part in helping him mark his retirement. As Rory took up mini rugby at Banbridge at the age of six, we’ve considered him one of our own for over 30 years! Now that he has retired, it feels like the right time to celebrate his achievements and we’re thrilled that he’s given us his support to push forward with our redevelopment plans.

“Not only do we want to improve our club’s physical facilities to compete at the highest level of club rugby in Ireland as we head towards our centenary in 2026 but we also want to focus on being even more inclusive through our ‘Club for All’ plans, creating changing facilities for our flourishing girls and women’s rugby teams and for mixed ability players.”

Rory Best added: “I couldn’t be prouder to work with my home club on this event. I have had unwavering support from club members and the local community in my rugby career which means so much to me and I am delighted that I can give something back and be involved in a project which will open up opportunities in rugby to many more people from all backgrounds. It’s an exciting time for the club as it looks to the future and I’m delighted to be able to support such a great cause”.

The black-tie event will feature a host of Rory’s former playing colleagues in a series of not-to-be missed Q&A sessions. They will discuss their time playing with and against him as well as the upcoming Ireland tour of New Zealand and the Rugby World Cup next year.

Cancer Fund for Children CEO, Phil Alexander commented:

“Cancer Fund for Children is proud to call Rory Best our ambassador. Not only has he waved the flag for childhood cancer he has also raised vital funds that will help ensure children and young people impacted by cancer receive the emotional and therapeutic support they need. We are incredibly grateful to benefit from the funds raised at this celebration event honouring Rory and his achievements.”

The charity and club fundraiser is guaranteed to offer a wonderful night of celebration and entertainment.

For more information and to purchase a table for this premium event please email: rorybestcelebration@banbridgerfc.com