IN just over two months’ time, the David Hill Memorial Match and dinner will celebrate the life of the rugby loving, 30-year old Holyrood parliamentary staffer, who passed away last March while playing rugby for Scottish Parliament RFC against Dáil and Seanad RFC (representing the Irish Parliament) at Donnybrook in Dublin due to a previously undiagnosed cardiac condition.
It was determined very early on after David’s passing that an annual event would be created to commemorate and celebrate his life and that this would be centred around this last ever fixture he played in. David’s family – in the shape of parents Rodger Hill and Sharon Duncan, their respective partners Lesley Hill and Gordon Duncan, as well as sister Georgia Graham and step-brother Alex Service – have donated the David Hill Memorial Quaich which will be played for going forward whenever the two teams meet.
The upcoming fixture will be played at Peffermill, Edinburgh, on March 11th at 2.30pm and will be followed later that day by a fund-raising post-match dinner at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in the capital at 7 for 7.30pm.
The Scottish Parliament RFC squad for the match will be made up of David’s team mates, but will also include his friends from school and university along with members of his family including his father.
Bespoke kit for the fixture is being made for both teams thanks to sponsorship from Siemens, The Fox & Faun in Shandwick Place and FPC Security Limited.
The Macron kit has been designed by Colin Campbell Sports in the capital and is being made by them too. The team at Colin Campbell Sports are more than happy to help as they have been great supporters of grassroots rugby over the years and the kit produced for both sides will remember David in a special way.
All are welcome to attend the match on the day while the great news is that. because so many people have rallied behind the dinner, it is already sold-out and will be attended by representatives from both parliaments and Scottish Rugby.
All proceeds from the dinner will go to Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation.
David has been described as ‘rugby daft’ by many and he was working as the head of office for Scottish Conservatives MSP and Holyrood justice spokesman Jamie Greene when he passed away.
In the aftermath of his passing, it was clear that he was held in high regard by colleagues across the political divide, not just for his work, but also for the manner with which he conducted himself at Holyrood. This manifested itself in David being named Parliamentary Staffer of the Year in September of this year at the Holyrood Magazine Awards.
Away from work, his interests were headed up by rugby as, over the years, he played scrum-half for Dumfries Saints, Dundee University and Scottish Parliament RFC. He also enjoyed music – playing the bagpipes badly! – as well as socialising and spending time with his friends and family who were a huge part of his life.
Michael Mawdsley, currently captain of the Scottish Parliament RFC, said: “It promises to be an emotional, but special occasion.
“David’s family know how much he loved his rugby and how much he enjoyed representing Scottish Parliament RFC against Dáil and Seanad RFC and against other teams during the Six Nations period every year.
“As a result, they were very keen to donate the David Hill Memorial Quaich and it means that he will always be remembered by the rugby fraternity and those who worked alongside him as the years go by.
“The fact that Colin Campbell Sports are helping produce bespoke kit for the match in March is a nice touch too and the response we have had to the dinner just shows the esteem in which David was help by many.
“We often hear that rugby is a family and we can think of no better way than helping David’s family mark a year since his passing than by playing this match and then holding a dinner which will raise vital funds for charity.”
- There will be an auction and a raffle at the dinner, if you or anyone you know has prizes they could donate to help with fund-raising please contact Scottish Parliament RFC vice-president Lachlan Bruce on 07944 625 411.