Former rugby chief gets MBE for service to sport

Andy Crawford receives his MBE from Prince William.
Andy Crawford receives his MBE from Prince William.

Derek Andrew (Andy) Crawford, who was born and brought up in Loughgall, was awarded the MBE for services to rugby union at an investiture in Buckingham Palace.

Prince William presented the award to Andy, who now lives at Kernan Gardens in Portadown.

Andy first played rugby at Royal School, Dungannon, and then joined Portadown RFC in 1956.

He was part of the first fifteen squad that won the Towns Cup and finished runner-up in the Junior Cup in 1956/57.

Andy moved to Dungannon the following year where he also played for Ulster for seven years.

After retiring from playing he became involved in coaching and managerial positions, eventually being President of Dungannon, Ulster and Ireland.

His MBE award was in recognition of his work with Ulster clubs in the all Ireland league, and under age rugby in general, having been manager of Ulster under-23, Ulster Development and an Ulster selector for six years.

Andy was chairman of the all-Ireland underage set-up for six years and chairman of the first under-18 four nations tournament.

He was also manager of the Irish students playing in the Students World Cup in South Africa.

He retired from these activities on becoming President of the IRFU in 2005/2006.

Andy was accompanied to the investiture by his son, Andrew, daughter, Susan, and grandson, Tom.

Sadly his wife, Joan, died last year.