Rugby star urges people to go purple

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Ulster and Ireland rugby player Chris Henry, who is originally from Lisburn, is urging people to ‘go purple’ to raise money and awareness for the Stroke Association’s Make May Purple campaign.

“I am one of 35,000 people in Northern Ireland who has experienced stroke,” he explained. “Two years ago, as I was getting ready for the Ireland vs South Africa rugby match in Dublin, I had a Transient Ischaemic Attack or mini-stroke.

“I had the same symptoms as a full blown stroke - numbness in my hands, slurred speech and my face slumped on one side.

“It was very frightening but thankfully my symptoms passed within 24 hours.

“With the right care and support stroke doesn’t have to change your life and I was back playing for Ulster just five months after my TIA.

“I’m backing the Stroke Association’s Make May Purple campaign and I’d like to encourage everyone to join me.

“Whatever you choose to do, whether it’s holding a bake sale, wearing purple for the day or signing up for an event, it’s easy to get involved and a great way to show your support for stroke survivors.”

Sign up for an action pack at or contact the Stroke Association Northern Ireland by calling 028 508021 or emailing