Man of mana’s life membership

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Mid Canterbury Rugby Union president Mick Hanham, right, gets his life membership award from union chairman Gerard Rushton. PHOTO SUPPLIED
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Mid Canterbury Rugby Union president Mick Hanham has been given a Mid Canterbury Rugby Union life membership award; one of just eight at the union.

It was presented by rugby union chairman Gerard Rushton at the union’s annual general meeting.

Mick’s long standing years in rugby have extended as a player and a coach from grassroots with Celtic rugby to representative level with Mid Canterbury, and as a South Island representative.

In the years 1963 to 1971 Mick emerged as a fast strong No.8 who was outstanding in line outs and scored many tries, his citation read.

‘‘He brought great distinction to Ashburton Celtic Rugby Football Club and to the Mid Canterbury representative teams he captained.

‘‘In a career of over 100 representative games, he was prominent in wins over Canterbury and an Australian side in 1964 and was also selected for Combined teams against South Africa in 1965 and the Lions in 1971.

‘‘He scored twenty tries for Mid Canterbury, including tries against Australia and Canterbury. Selection for the South Island team in 1970 was just reward for one of the best Celtic and Mid Canterbury players ever.

‘‘He coached Celtic Senior B for many years and had success in the Michael Duff Competition.

‘‘He was also the Senior Celtic Coach with a win in the Watters Cup in 1989.

‘‘Mick served many decades on the Ashburton Celtic RFC committee and has been integral part of the growth of the club and its members.

‘‘He was duly recognised for his loyal service and made a Celtic Life Member in 2011.

‘‘Community service is still very high on Mick’s agenda. He gives freely of his time and has been a regular at both his Celtic Club and MCRU working bees and fundraising functions spanning the last four or five decades.

‘‘He is a man of mana, not only within our rugby circles but also across our community. He is well respected and revered. A deserving honour for a deserving man! Congratulations Mick!’’

Other life members: Graham Brooker, Colin Gilbert, Colin Morgan (all 2011), Robert Ellis – 2015, Garry Brown – 2019, Jock Ross and Graham Thomas (2020).