FORMER DERRY Football All-Star Henry Downey will be honoured by Queen’s University, Belfast after his recent selection on the Fitzgibbon Cup team of the Century.
Henry is best known as one of Ulster’s most talented footballers, with a CV that boasts captaining the 1993 All-Ireland winning Derry team, an All-Star award, Player of the Year 1993 as well as an All-Ireland club title with Lavey in 1991. However it is his skills as a hurler that are to be celebrated at the black tie event in the University’s Great Hall on November 17th. Downey is the only Ulster player to be named on the illustrious Fitzgibbon team team which includes the likes of Nicky English, Joe Canning and nine time All-Ireland winner Henry Shefflin.
Our very own ‘King Henry’ has been selected at right half-forward and it is appropriate that a fund being developed by the Queens Hurling Club is to be named in his honour. Few players had as dramatic an impact on their club as Henry Downey. After a 23-point collapse at home in the 1985 semi-final, Queen’s hurlers seemed doomed again when trailing UCD by 10 points in Dublin in 1986. A goal by first-year Downey sparked a famous fight-back that brought Queen’s to only its second-ever final. His prolific display in 1987 is acclaimed by observers as the best in the competition for many years and it is fitting that his selection on the Fitzgibbon Team of the Century coincides with somewhat of a Hurling renaissance at the University.
Through a variety of innovative and ambitious fund-raising nights the Queen’s club is beginning to develop a sound financial basis which involves huge commitment from the students who voluntarily give up their time to run such events and reflects the dedication of club members. This dedication is also evident on the field and highlighted by recent success in capturing the Division 2 All-Ireland League Title 2012.
The evening will be a fitting tribute to the Downey, as well as recognition of the esteem with which the Lavey man is held within this club and throughout hurling circles in Ulster and Ireland.
The event will take place on the evening of Saturday, November 17th at 7pm in the Great Hall at Queen’s and tickets are priced at £30. The event is open to anyone who wishes to pay tribute to Henry, his career and the fantastic recognition of selection on the Fitzgibbon Cup team of the Century. The University would particularly encourage past players, administrators, coaches and friends from every era in our club’s rich history to attend but this is an open event to all interested parties. Many present and past leading lights of Ulster and National hurling will be in attendance. To purchase tickets directly, you may call the PEC on 028 9068 1126 or send a cheque addressed to Aidan O’Rourke at the Queen’s PEC.