Wednesday, July 6, 2022


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Last Saturday saw the cheque presentation for the Ryan Mills Memorial Match at Hamilton Park. Ards Rugby Club raised £16,176 for two charities that are doing invaluable work to raise mental health awareness, SPORTS (Suicide Prevention Offering Recovery Through Sport) and Codo Drops.

President Stevie Nutt said: “A massive thanks to the players who took part in the charity rugby match, massive thanks to the Ards Rugby players who took part in the marathon walk around the Ards area on the day of the match. Also, a massive thanks to all the local businesses who supported the event by giving raffle prizes or with financial donations and a massive thanks to all who attended on the day. “I’d also like to thank the Mills family for being so open and allowing us to fundraise and to Rob Smith and Ben Smith for leading from the front.”

Elsewhere, a presentation was made by club secretary Ian Wallace to assistant secretary Billy Dickson to mark his service to Ards Rugby and his 80th birthday. Billy joined Ards Rugby in 1961/62, the season Ards won its first major trophy the Ulster Towns Cup. In 1969/70 he captained Ards first XV to 24 consecutive wins and took Ards to its first Towns Cup final since 1961/62. He also captained Ards to its first winning of the Oval Trophy, the Interprovincial Towns Championship. In 1976/77 he coached the first Ards winning of the Boston Cup, the Junior Cup and the Mal Trophy (the Junior Ulster Cup Championship). In 1977/78 he coached the firsts Ards team to be promoted to senior rugby. In 1981/82 Billy was president when the club enjoyed their first overseas tour to Canada, before winning the Senior League and cup for the first time.

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