A well-respected educator and coach as well as his career at the highest level in rugby and athletics – eleven caps for Ireland After also representing his country at the hammer at the World Cups, Halpin was also a good writer

He wrote a rugby column for the Irish Examiner for several years after retiring from playing

Sports editor Tony Leen recalls bringing him on board at the sports desk at the start of his tenure

“Alongside Mick O’Dwyer, Gary Halpin was one of the first columnists we introduced in the late 1990s to improve our offering for Examiner Sport

“He was such a natural communicator – bright, funny, informative, disrespectful – Just what you’d expect from a good column

“His was one of those readings you happily dropped every week. Now looking back at the pages, we probably should have given Gary a wider canvas. Easy to read, easy to like”

In the many loving tributes Halpin was paid yesterday when the news of his death broke, there are constant references to his good humor and sense of fun

“A fun storyteller and the life and soul of a team he was part of,” said Brian O’Driscoll

“He was a barrel of fun,” said Keith Wood. “The best sense of humor and funniest man I’ve ever trained,” said Matt Williams

Halpin also wrote occasionally for the Guardian, and a 2010 play perfectly captures his carefree outlook on life and his ability to spin a yarn.

In it, he recalls the day 1996 when he played Leicester in a Pilkington Cup semi-final for London Irish and had to take a short break from the rigors of a crowd to see how he could move his car

“We were coached by Clive Woodward, so he competed against his previous club Sunbury was full – it had a capacity of maybe six or seven thousand and wasn’t really up to these big occasions. I was late and the parking lot was so tight I had this big Volvo station wagon so I’d parked illegally to tell the truth because of the time I assumed no one would come in behind me

“We started pretty well. We won when it happened so it was a really crucial phase in the game I think there had just been a slight injury so there was a little break in the crowd. We got a scrum , and just before we started there was this announcement about the Tannoy – an ambulance had to go through and a car was in the way I just got the words “green Volvo” and froze. That was my car

“I remember Graham Rowntree looking at me strangely because he saw I was a little amused. So I said to Graham,” Could you hold on there for a minute? ” And off we went. I remember Dean Richards sticking his head out of the crowd and saying, “For God’s sake, what’s going on now?”

“I walked to the contact line The manager was up in the stands and I had to tell him to get my keys from the locker room and move the car so I yelled at him and he couldn’t hear He just wanted:” What? What? ” In the end I had to yell, “It’s my damn car!”

London Irish will pay tribute to Gary Halpin in Saturday’s eleventh round against Wasps Players and staff will wear black armbands in honor of the former Irish captain of London

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Gary Halpin

World News – UK – The day Gary Halpin had to move his car during a scrum sums up his carefree outlook on life

Source: https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-40233509.html