Friends and family ready to celebrate life of Scottish Parliament stalwart David Hill

Bespoke kits for both competing teams have been created by Macron Store Edinburgh (Colin Campbell Sports)

Scottish Parliament RFC and Dáil and Seanad RFC will be wearing bespoke kit designed to celebrate David Hill's life on Saturday
Scottish Parliament RFC and Dáil and Seanad RFC will be wearing bespoke kit designed to celebrate David Hill's life on Saturday

BESPOKE kit has been designed and produced for both teams to wear during this coming Saturday’s special David Hill Memorial Match in Edinburgh as family, work colleagues and old pals prepare to remember a rugby lover and a great friend.

David Hill, 30, passed away whilst playing for Scottish Parliament RFC against Dáil and Seanad RFC (representing the Irish Parliament) at Donnybrook in Dublin on March 19, 2022.

The parliamentary staffer died due to a previously undiagnosed cardiac condition and since then his family have been raising awareness for the great work that Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) do.


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Saturday will be the first meeting of the two sides since his passing. The match will be played at Peffermill at 2.30pm and it will be followed later that day by a fund-raising post-match dinner at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in the capital.

Proceeds from the dinner will go to CRY and the Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation while, at the match earlier in the day, the David Hill Memorial Quaich will be played for for the first time.

In recent months the team at Macron Store Edinburgh (Colin Campbell Sports) has been working closely with Scottish Parliament RFC captain Michael Mawdsley to design and produce Macron kit for both teams to wear on the special occasion.

“Designing not one, but two, kits for such an important fixture was a bit daunting, particularly given the emotive nature of the fixture as we wanted to make both kits memorable and symbolic,” Mawdsley said.

“I really can’t speak highly enough of Scott Mckenzie and his team at Colin Campbell Sports for their help, creative skill and extreme patience.

“David was passionate about Scottish rugby, and it’s something that I, and others, will always associate with him. We therefore started by looking at historic Scotland international jerseys and, with those colours as a starting point, we were quite quickly able to come up with something that fitted the brief for the Scottish Parliament jersey.”

In terms of the Dàil & Seanad jersey, inspiration has come from Ireland’s Triple Crown win at Twickenham in 2006 while, on both of the shirts, the CRY and Murrayfield Injured Players Foundation logos are visible.

“We wanted to recognise the friendship between the two teams – and the countries of Scotland and Ireland – in some way, so we have signified this with a roundel on the back of the collar on both kits with the Saltire and Tricolour featured,” Mawdsley continued.

“The final, and most important element, was trying to recognise David in the designs.

“Although he didn’t play there as much in recent seasons, he was very much a scrum-half, so every jersey bears the No 9 motif on the right shoulder and it’s also included in the supporters top and tracksuit – that way there will be a little bit of David with everyone involved on the day both on and off the field.

“In addition to that, no player will play with the number nine jersey in this fixture and Scottish Parliament RFC has retired that number going forward.”

 

Scott Mckenzie from Colin Campbell Sports said:  “As soon as we heard about the David Hill Memorial Match and the story behind it, we knew we would love to be involved as kit supplier.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Michael over the past few months to create the bespoke kit designs. We initially worked together to customise the style, colours and sponsor logo positions, before passing on to the experts at Macron HQ who then brought the designs to life.

“Ourselves and Macron are proud of the quality kit supplied for the event and hope the special designs are enjoyed by all on the day.”

Sponsorship from Siemens, The Fox & Faun in Shandwick Place and FPC Security Limited helped produce the kit.

In the game itself, members of Hill’s family and friends from out-with parliamentary circles are due to be pulling on the boots to represent Scottish Parliament RFC alongside the usual squad.

Among them will be his dad, Rodger Hill, and brother, Alex Service, and, while the former knows it will be a very emotional day, he is looking forward to remembering his son with the rugby family.

“David’s love of rugby really came through myself [because] I used to play for Dumfries Saints, Forrester and Royal High and he was always around the game,” Rodger recounted about his son, who played for Dumfries and Dundee University, as well as Scottish Parliament RFC, over the years.

“In terms of playing the game, he was kind of blighted by his eyesight in his younger years, but when he was 21 he had laser eye surgery and that was a bit of a game changer.

“It meant that he could play a bit more and he found a level he was comfortable at, and made lots of friends playing for Scottish Parliament RFC in recent years.

“He just loved the game, we had season tickets at Murrayfield for the Scotland matches and I have so many good memories of attending big Six Nations games and such like with him. We also had a great trip to Rome once while he watched the national team live at Twickenham and in Dublin, too.

“It has been difficult watching the national team of late without David being there but, boy, I know he’d be enjoying the style with which the team are playing with now and hopefully they can end the Six Nations on a high versus Ireland and Italy.

“This coming Saturday will be a great way to launch the David Hill Memorial Quaich, spend time with other members of David’s family and all of his friends, and also raise very important awareness of CRY.

“I haven’t pulled the boots on for a while and David would have smiled at the thought of it, but I want to for this special day.

“We all miss him terribly and, coming up for a year since his passing, that feeling is magnified, but we want Saturday to be a celebration of David’s life and his love of rugby.”

Rodger Hill is keen to thank all involved with Scottish Parliament RFC and Dáil and Seanad RFC for what they have done in the last year as well as Scottish Rugby and the IRFU.

Ahead of their trip over to Scotland for the match, Dáil and Seanad RFC skipper John McGahon said:  “There has always been a really good relationship and friendship between the Scottish Parliament and our team and it goes back to 2017 when we played our first friendly against each other at Edinburgh Accies’ Raeburn Place ground.

“Since then, great friendships have been forged between both teams and it is the fixture that we look forward to and enjoy the most.

“The untimely passing of David Hill on the field of play last year was a very difficult situation for everyone involved, but in particular his Scottish team-mates and friends.

“A number of us had gotten to know David over the years playing versus the Scottish side and he was one of life’s true gentlemen.

“The David Hill Memorial Quaich is a wonderful way to honour and cherish David’s memory. It will be a privilege for us to be able to play in this first memorial match and I know it will be a tradition that will continue between both our Parliaments for many years to come.

“David was one of a kind, I know that he is sorely missed by all of us in Ireland who had the pleasure and privilege of being his friend.”


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About Gary Heatly 463 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.