David flies the flag for Ulster rugby

David Steele
David Steele

Seven-year-old David Steele has become something of a legend at Ulster rugby games at the Kingspan stadium. He’s a favourite of local star Rory Best and of South African Ruan Pienarr.

So when the David, who has Down’s Syndrome, was part of the guard of honour at the recent Ulster v Munster game, he met with the approval of the 18,000 crowd. And as the players took the field, he waved the flag with great gusto.

Said his mum Lyn, “David – along with his brothers Aaron and Owen – loves the rugby scene at Kingspan, and the Ulster Branch goes out of its way to welcome and encourage families. He’s a great fan of ‘Sparky’ the Bear, the official mascot. And he was playing with ‘Sparky’ when one of the officials asked if he’s like to be one of the guard of honour, so David jumped at the chance and did a great job.” Granny Shirley Kilpatrick, another great Ulster fan, was beaming as her grandson did his bit.

Rory Best is an ambassador for the Portadown Panthers who play at Chambers Park, and Owen (11) is part of the mini rugby scene there.

David,is a pupil at Bocombra Primary School.

He also enjoys music and sings heartily along with the crowds in their rendition of ‘Stand Up for the Ulstermen’ and ‘Ireland’s Call’.

Said Lyn, “He really enjoyed the Ulster-Munster game which ended on a draw. And his weekend was completed on Saturday when his new pet dog arrived at home – a Sprocker Spaniel he calls ‘Maisy Moo’.”