Rugby Canada is proud to announce that past President Monty Heald has been awarded an Honorary Life Membership, which is the highest and most prestigious award that may be bestowed by Rugby Canada. The award is given to individuals who have brought significant positive recognition to Rugby Canada at the National or International level and/or has made an outstanding or extraordinary contribution to the growth and development of the game of Rugby in Canada.
Monty Heald Profile:
Monty Heald was born in Derby, in the East Midlands region of England. He first became involved in Rugby at Royal Masonic School, Hertfordshire, in 1949 playing for the Colts team. Upon graduation from school, he played for Derby R.F.C. over a fifteen year period. During this period, he also played for Greengarth R.F.C., in Cumberland (1957 – 1959) and Ashbourne R.F.C., in Derbyshire (1959 – 1960). Also, during this period, Monty was selected for and played in every position but hooker and fullback. During his final years with Derby R.F.C., concluding in 1968, he played in what may be a Club record 107 consecutive first grade matches, and was Club captain for two years, 1965/7. Monty immigrated to Burlington, Ontario in 1968 and he moved to Puslinch in 1971. He played for the Hamilton Hornets from 1968 to 1972, and he captained that Club in 1971. The Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club was founded in 1973 and Monty became a founding member and the Club’s first captain. He also served the Burlington Club as its second President, a position he held for four years, and he ultimately became a Life Member of the Club. Monty’s playing career concluded in 1988 and he had already become involved in administration at a number of levels. He served the Niagara Union as the Director of the Senior Team, and he served the Ontario Rugby Union as a selector for two years (1979/80).
In 1981, Heald became a National Selector and he chaired the C.R.U. Selection Committee for the period 1983 to 1994. In 1984 and 1985 he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian Sevens team which played in the Hong Kong Sevens. Also in 1984, he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian team and he served in this position for Can-Am matches in Chicago (1984), Tucson (1986) and Seattle (1990). His managerial career was highlighted by the seven match tour to Australia, in June, 1985, in which the Test matches in Sydney and Brisbane represented the first ever meetings between Canada and Australia. Monty was also manager of the first CANZ series (1989) taking the National team to Argentina and New Zealand. Monty was elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Rugby Union in 1986 and he served as Director of The National Team for the period 1986 – 1991. He was elected as President in 1991 and he served in this capacity for eight years. In 1995 PARA was formed 1995 and Monty served as the Canadian Rugby Union representative including two years as President. The National Union underwent many significant structural changes over Heald’s term of office and, as well, there were many major challenges facing the administration, including Marketing and Communications, the tremendous growth in the number of domestic players, and the growth of the Women’s game, both domestically and internationally. In the middle of Monty’s leadership, the Union effected a major change, that being the change in name to Rugby Canada. The National Union, through the services of Alan Sharp, our representative on the Council of the International Rugby Board, became significantly more involved in the activities and programs of the I.R.B. The number of international fixtures involving Canada increased by 160% over the period 1990 to 1999, and Canada prepared for and participated in three Rugby World Cups, in 1991, 1995 and 1999. Monty’s concluding term, as a Director, in 2000 brought his total years of service to the National Union up to twenty. He was inducted into the Ontario Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2004. He is now retired and lives in Waterdown, Ontario, and is still involved in Rugby, coaching at the Waterdown High School and serving as Chair of the Past Presidents committee, Chair of the Hall of Fame committee and member of the Annual Awards Committee of Rugby Canada.