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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 17:33 GMT
Wizard Humphreys now an MBE
David Humphreys appointed an MBE
Humphreys holds Ireland's scoring record with 499 points
Ireland and Ulster rugby star David Humphreys has been appointed an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

It just one of the many accolades that the 32-year-old solicitor has received over the years.

Fly-half Humphreys won the first of his 60 international caps against France back in 1996.

He is now Ireland's top scorer with 499 points despite being forced to share the number 10 jersey with Munster's Ronan O'Gara.

Humphreys came into the limelight when he captained Ulster to a famous European Cup victory at Lansdowne Road in 1999.

Although English clubs took umbridge and backed out of the competition, Ulster managed to beat all before them - including Toulouse twice and Stade Francais - before dsipatching Colomiers 21-6 in an unforgettable final.

Humphreys has been the talisman for Ulster since he made his starting debut against Cumbria in Cockermouth back in 1994.

Two years previously he captained the Irish Schools to their first Grand Slam in the Home Nations Championships.

He has produced some startling performances for both Ireland and Ulster. However, he really showed his talent in the 1995 Varsity match when he scored all of Oxford's points with a try, conversion, drop goal and three penalties in a 21-19 defeat.

A real winner when the chips are down, Humphreys also holds the Heineken Cup scoring record with 37 points as Ulster defeated Wasps 42-16 at Ravenhill in 2002.

An articulate speaker and shrewd businessman, Humphreys has been battling for his position with O'Gara.

Both players have great attributes, with the experience of Humphreys likely to earn him the starting place in the 2004 Six Nations Championship.

He has twice captained his country, won numerous man-of-the-match awards and has lifted the Irish and Ulster Player of the Year Award on a total of five occasions.

I'm totally reliant on all the players around me
David Humphreys

Humphreys, whose sister Karen is a recently-retired Ireland hockey star, graduated in law at Queen's University, Belfast and trained as a solicitor under the eyes of another famous Ireland fly-half Mike Gibson.

Nicknamed ''Jackie'' after the legendary Jack Kyle, Humphreys donned the robs again last week when he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster only last week.

But he puts down any success he has earned in the game to his fellow players.

''To be honest it is a huge surprise to me,'' said Humphreys who is married and has two young children.

''To me these things happen to other people, I never really thought about an honour. But I don't make those decisions.

''However, it's like a lot of sport, where one player gets all the credit and glory when really it is down to a team effort.

''I'm totally reliant on all the players around me. It's the reflection of the way they play, and the reaction of the crowd. I suppose I'm lucky to be the person in the right place at the right time.

''I have had some outstanding moments in the game, but without doubt the European Cup final on 30 January, 1999 will be indeliably imprinted in my mind. That will always be the defining moment in my career.''





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