July 17, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.

Tributes for popular rugby captain

Friends and family to gather in Bermuda to remember man who touched so many lives
Tributes for popular rugby captain
Tributes for popular rugby captain

By Simon [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Tributes have poured in for a ‘larger than life’ character who captained Bermuda’s national rugby team.

Danny Forsythe died in Boston on May 20 at the age of 54 after a long battle with cancer.

But friends and family will gather tomorrow at the Anglican Cathedral to celebrate the popular Northern Irishman’s life — 14 years after he left the island.

The memorial service will also be attended by his wife, Kathy, and the couple’s two children, Harry and Nathalie, who are flying in especially for the occasion.

A group of close friends, including Richard Lightowler and Phil Heaney, travelled to Boston from Bermuda in May to attend his funeral and carried his coffin at the service.

But they felt it was important to hold a memorial on the island, such was the popularity of the tight-head prop.

Mr Lightowler told the Sun: “Danny lived life with a smile on his face.

“He was an incredibly clever guy, but also one of the funniest men you could hope to meet.

“He loved rugby and he loved his time in Bermuda. I think he was sad to leave despite the great job opportunity that had come his way in Boston.

“He had so many friends here and that is why we wanted to do something in Bermuda to remember him. This was a man who captained the national side and was very much the focal point in Bermudian rugby for a decade.

“He was famous for his singing, especially his rendition of ‘Danny Boy’ and will be hugely missed by so many people.”

Mr Heaney added: “Danny was the backbone of the Renegades team and also the national team while he was here.

“The words ‘larger than life’ were never truer than when referring to Danny. He played hard, trained hard and partied hard.

“He was such a popular guy in Bermuda — a real character and a genuinely intelligent bloke too.

“Danny battled cancer with courage and with the humour that was typical of the man.

“We all knew he was ill, but it has been incredibly hard to come to terms with the loss of such a huge personality. It is quite devastating and all his friends really struggled at the funeral.”

Mr Forsythe moved to Bermuda from Northern Ireland in 1988 and worked for Argus Insurance.

During his time here he not only captained the national team but also the Renegades Rugby team. He left the island in 1999 to work in Boston.

Peter Borland, former President of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union, added: “Danny was just a great guy. He had a fantastic sense of humour and a joke or a story for every occasion.

“Danny was also a fantastic rugby player too. He knew the game and was always happy to share his skills and qualities with others on the training pitch.

“News of his death was devastating to everyone in Bermuda who knew him. He lived life to the full and made a big contribution to the lives of many people on the island.”

The memorial service will take place at The Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton at 3pm tomorrow.

 


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