Ronald Mervyn Giffin Cause Of Death, Obituary Not Yet Available – Ronald Mervyn Giffin, a former Northern Ireland player, died in England recently at the age of 88. Ronald was born in 1933 and grew up on Roslyn Street in Belfast, where he attended Park Parade School. Ronald — as Ronnie to his pals — was an avid sports fan who excelled in football as a schoolboy, youngster, and amateur before turning semi-professional.
According to belfasttelegraph.co.uk, he played football for Glentoran, Cliftonville, and Ards, the latter as a semi-professional, winning the league in 1958 and going on to represent Ireland in the European Cup against Reims.
Ronnie met his future wife of 64 years, Joan, at the Villa Marina dance venue in Douglas, during a football competition on the Isle of Man, wooing her with a misplaced side step.
Jackie Blanchflower and Harry Gregg were among his teammates when he represented Northern Ireland. Ronnie was scouted by Manchester United at the same time as his now-famous teammates, but he chose to stay in Belfast, complete his accounting studies, and start a family with Joan. This includes a voyage to South Africa during the turbulent apartheid era, when Ronnie and Joan were led by armed protection from the north of Africa to Johannesburg through Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The trip, like all of the others, was a huge success. Ronnie spent his retirement helping to establish Nottingham Trent University’s business school, getting an honorary MBA, and serving as a visiting professor at Derby and Loughborough universities.
Ronnie devoted his life to assisting and supporting others. He started youth clubs in both Scotland and England, and became a trustee of a local brain injury charity, EDIT. He was also invited by the Duchess of Norfolk to join the charity she founded, Help the Hospices, which he did for ten years.
Ronnie’s actual legacy, on the other hand, is his enormous and loving family. He and Joan had four children, Janette, David, Helen, and Michael, as well as eleven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.