Live

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Repeat: Off The Ball

Rugby

Gary Halpin, remembered | Keith Wood, Nick Popplewell & Mick Galwey

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

20:39 24 Feb 2021

We were joined by three stalwarts of Irish rugby to remember the life and laughter of Gary Halpin.

Halpin's sudden death was confirmed on Wednesday, and Mick Galwey opened the tributes to his friend and teammate.

Mick Galwey on Gary Halpin

"People around Kilkenny have a great time for him, they would often ask me 'How is Gary? Have you seen him lately?' He has been living here the last few years despite working in Roscrea.

"But my god, he is just a huge, huge loss. Particularly to fellas that would have played with him back in the day because you can think back on happier times."

Galwey struck a poignant note when it came to what has been lost with Gary's passing.

"When all of us are getting old and trying to put the pieces together, certainly Gary will be a big loss out of that because 90% of the stories revolved around him.

"If we are ever lucky enough, after this pandemic, to have a few reunions then we'll surely be regaling a few stories about Gary, but he won't be there to enjoy it."

Nick Popplewell

"I rang him to wish him a happy birthday, and 45 minutes later... you just laugh," Popplewell said of his Ireland teammate.

"At our age, you don't laugh as everything is so bloody serious. It was like schoolboy stuff, that you can't even repeat!

"You always came away feeling better and thinking 'why don't I ring that chap every other week?' because he just cheered you up. He was better than any bloody anti-depressant.

"I think it's important today, it is easy to be sunken - but he'd be looking down thinking 'listen lads, get on with it.'

"Shane Byrne rang me this morning and I blocked the call three because every time Shane rings he is looking for something..! After three times I picked up [...] I would say I cried for an hour."

Keith Wood

"I have a hundred memories of him - I am bald because of Gary. Not because I wanted to follow him, but because he shaved my hair off for the first time. He went 'whoops' as he shaved a big line down the centre of my head!

"He was just a huge amount of fun. He was at my wedding when we got married in Oakham. The front page of the Rutland Times was a picture of Gary Halpin!"

Wood echoed Galwey's point on the lost thread to memory, with Halpin's passing.

"It is just a shame, you think that there is an awful lot more life left to live and he doesn't get that chance. I think [Nick Popplewell] said it there, get-togethers. We'll have them without him, but he'll be remembered within them."

Wood said that his phone was buzzing for the whole day on Wednesday as tributes from all over the world of rugby came in for Gary's life.

"Our whole relationship was slagging, so I slagged him constantly. I described him as my hero recently, and he thought I was taking the mickey out of him. But he had done everything he could and went to all of the great schools, taught there, [coached] rugby and became housemaster. All the best things he could possibly do with the kids.

"He had too much joy, life, and energy for it to suddenly be extinguished today. It is very sad."

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Up next

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on