Final farewell for Bok legend
Some of the biggest legends of the game arrived at the Wanderers Rugby Club in Johannesburg on Thursday to pay their last respects to an ex-teammate.
James Small, a 1995 World Cup winner, died last week from a heart attack.
While fans will remember him for his on-field heroics, his teammates spoke about the gentleman he was off the field.
Many of his former teammates, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup with Small at Ellis Park in June 1995, attended the ceremony.
Springbok teammate Rudolf Straeuli described Small as a perfect gentleman, who needed to be celebrated as he cared greatly about his country and its citizens.
Straeuli added Small had passion both on and off the field.
Former Springbok captain Gary Teichmann, who played with Small at the Sharks, said it was clear from the number of tributes that Small had influenced many lives in different ways.
He labelled Small as a great teammate and rugby player who had an enormous amount to give to the rugby fraternity.
“It’s such a pity that we could not find him a place after his retirement,” Teichmann said.
An autopsy found that Small had died of “ischaemic heart disease”.