Cape Town – The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) has established
a fundraising initiative in aid of James Small’s family following the former Springbok’s tragic death.
Small passed away last Wednesday at the age of 50 after
suffering a heart attack and was buried on Thursday following a funeral
service in Johannesburg.
He is survived by
his daughter (14) and son (nine).
The SA Rugby Legends (SARLA) President and renowned South African
philanthropist, Gavin Varejes and Stefan Terblanche, CEO, expressed
their deep sadness at the loss of Small.
According to the SARLA website, both Varejes and Terblanche recalled many memorable moments with the star wing.
Varejes said that Small lived and played with
passion and courage, sharing that “I speak for all our rugby legends
when I say that we are truly devastated to hear of James’ passing. I
will never forget the enthusiasm he expressed when the Springboks were
learning the lyrics of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and later, when during a
visit to Robben Island, James visibly wept at Madiba’s ability to remain
so compassionate following his prison term.” Varejes added that “It’s
thus fitting that his funeral will be held on the 18th July, Mandela
Day, as James was regarded by all of us at SARLA as a true legend.”
Terblanche, added warmth to Varejes words, saying
“Whilst James was often regarded with humour as our ‘bad boy’ due to his
intense passion during a game, his passion was always equal in measure
to the love he felt and expressed for his fellow man and in the pursuit
of the transformation of rugby in South Africa. This is truly devasting
Terblanche concluded by sharing that “On behalf of SARLA and all of
our rugby legends, we wish James’ family and friends strength during
this incredibly difficult time. He will always have a special place in
the heart and history of South Africa’s rugby community, legends and
Small was involved in SARLA’s rugby development and
transformational activities with youth from previously disadvantaged
communities, and on Friday it was announced that the organisation will
assist his family financially following his untimely death.
Small will always be remembered for his vital role in
South Africa’s triumphant 1995 Rugby World Cup.
With an expansive and
impressive career, Small made his debut on the Springbok’s wing in 1992
against New Zealand’s All Blacks, playing a total of 47 Tests until late
Small proudly wore South Africa’s green and gold a total of 60
times, scoring 27 tries.
His final Test saw him score his 20th try,
earning him the title of lead Springbok try scorer, breaking Danie
Gerber’s record at the time.
To contribute to the fundraising initiative, SMS your name and message to 42303. R30 will be donated to the
care of his family.
This initiative will also be shared on the screens
at half-time during the Springboks’ Rugby Championship match against Australia on Saturday, July 20 at Ellis Park.
Kick-off is at 17:05 and the match will be broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1.