1999 revisited: Guest Speaker Sporting Luncheon with Dr David Humphreys MBE, former captain of Ulster and Ireland and captain of the Ulster team that won the European Cup in 1999
Members and guests sit down for luncheon at
followed at approximately 2.10pm by our
guest, David Humphreys, in conversation with our Past President, Jim Neilly.
“By Ticket Only”
“It was twenty years ago today…!”, as the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper put it, and exactly two decades to the very day, we are delighted to have a return visit by David Humphreys who, on January 30th 1999, became the first Irishman to lift the European Cup, following victory over French side Colomiers at a packed Lansdowne Road in Dublin.
An outstanding schoolboy player at Ballymena Academy, David captained the Irish Schools’ side to a Triple Crown in 1990 and, while a law student at Queen’s University, made his senior Ulster debut away to Munster in 1993, kicking his side to victory. A stellar performance for Oxford in the 1995 Varsity match, in which he scored a record 19 points, earned him a first Irish cap against France in 1996 and he went on to play for Ireland on 72 occasions, five as captain and was a member of the 1999 and 2003 World Cup squads.
After three seasons with London Irish he returned to Ulster, combining club rugby with Dungannon and competitive games with Ulster whom he captained, leading the side to memorable European Cup wins at Ravenhill against Toulouse and Stade Francais before the unforgettable final against Colomiers in Dublin.
His 37 points, including an incredible four drop goals, against Wasps in the 2001-02 European Cup campaign remains an individual record for the competition and he dropped the last-minute goal against the Ospreys in Swansea which brought Ulster the Celtic League title in 2006.
Following his retirement from playing in 2008 David became Ulster Rugby’s first Director of Operations and moved to English Premiership side Gloucester in 2014 as Director of Rugby.
Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ulster in 2003 for his services to sport, he was awarded an MBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours List.