Robert Blair Paddy" Mayne "
Robert Blair Paddy" Mayne was born in Newtownards, County Down, the second youngest of seven children. The Mayne family were prominent landowners who owned several retail businesses in the town. He was named Robert Blair after a second cousin, who at the time of his birth was a British Army officer serving in World War I. The family home, Mount Pleasant, is situated on the hills above Newtownards. A paternal ancestor was Gordon Turnbull, who led the famous Scotland Forever Charge at Waterloo.He attended Regent House Grammar School. It was there that his talent for rugby union became evident, and he played for the school 1st XV and also the local Ards RFC team from the age of 16. While at school he also played cricket and golf, and showed aptitude as a marksman in the rifle club. On leaving school he studied law at Queen's University of Belfast, studying to become a solicitor. While at university he took up boxing, becoming Irish Universities Heavyweight Champion in August 1936. He followed this by reaching the final of the British Universities Heavyweight Championship, but was beaten on points. With a handicap of 8, he won the Scrabo Golf Club President's Cup the next year.Mayne's first full Ireland cap also came in 1937, in a match against Wales. After gaining five more caps for Ireland as a lock forward, Mayne was selected for the 1938 British Lions tour to South Africa. While the Lions lost the first test, a South African newspaper stated Mayne was "outstanding in a pack which gamely and untiringly stood up to the tremendous task". He played in seventeen of the twenty provincial matches and in all three tests. On returning from South Africa, he joined Malone RFC in Belfast.In early 1939 he graduated from Queen's and joined George Maclaine & Co in Belfast, having been articled to TCG Mackintosh for the five previous years. Mayne won praise during the three Ireland matches he played in 1939, with one report stating "Mayne, whose quiet almost ruthless efficiency is in direct contrast to O'Loughlin's exuberance, appears on the slow side, but he covers the ground at an extraordinary speed for a man of his build, as many a three quarter and full back have discovered." His legal and sporting careers were cut short by the outbreak of World War II.Circa 1939"
|Color||Black & White|
|Keywords||1930s,20th Century,Solider,Amateur boxer,Rugby Union,War,Solicitor|
|Credit||Mirrorpix / GIW Photos|
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