Ulster Hockey has been made aware of the sad passing of prominent Umpire and Raphoe Hockey Club member Uel Blair after a period of illness.
“Committed”, “Passionate” and “Dedicated” are just a few words Raphoe Hockey Club use to describe Uel Blair. He showed this back in 1972 when he, along with a few other gentlemen, made the decision to reform Raphoe Hockey Club, and committed to fielding a team that would travel around the Province to play in the Ulster League for the first time. The club has grown from there to become an integral part of the Ulster Hockey family.
It was through Uel’s dedication in 1999 that the infrastructure of the club was developed, where Uel was one of the driving forces behind fundraising for the first AstroTurf Hockey Pitch for the school and club.
Uel’s passion for hockey, never left him after he stopped playing. He umpired club games, helped out with many teams throughout the years, carried out various roles on the club committee and served many years as the proud Chairman of Raphoe Hockey Club.
In more recent years Uel became an Ulster Hockey Branch Umpire. While doing this, he continued to serve the sport & club that he loved so much, and was honoured for his umpiring duties when he was named “Most Dedicated Umpire of the Year” in 2020. No match was too far for Uel and his close friend and immediate past Ulster Hockey Vice-President, the late James Wray, always available to officiate where and when required.
Uel was a loyal supporter of men’s, ladies and youth teams within the club – willing to offer support and a listening ear when needed. Uel carried a soft spot for many, and many carried a soft spot for him. We will miss listening to his stories about his playing days and hearing of his fond memories of being part of the RHC Family. He is now another legend that is gone, but will never be forgotten
The thoughts of Ulster Hockey are with Uel’s family Louise, Alan, Jennifer and all of our friends at Raphoe Hockey Club at this difficult time.