Hannes Strydom, a rugby player from South Africa, was the fifth player from the team that won the World Cup to pass away in an accident.
A year after apartheid ended, Strydom was a member of the team that won the World Cup in a historic victory.
World Cup triumphant Hannes Strydom, 58, a rugby player from South Africa, passed away in an automobile accident.
Strydom was a member of the Springboks squad that won the World Cup in 1995 following their victory over New Zealand in the championship match.
The triumph, which took place a year after South Africa’s apartheid ended, was immortalized in the 2009 Hollywood film Invictus.
After being murdered in the incident on Sunday night, Strydrom, a second-row player, was referred to as “one of the great locks of his generation”.
He is the fifth player to pass away from the Springboks since they started that 15–12 triumph over the All Blacks at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
Ruben Kruger died aged 39 in 2010 of brain cancer; Joost van der Westhuizen died aged 45 in 2017 of motor neurone disease; James Small died aged 50 in 2019 of a heart attack; Chester Williams died the same year aged 49 of a heart attack. Williams was the only black player on the winning squad in 1995.
Between 1993 and 1997, Strydom got 21 caps for his country in Test matches.
In 1997, he faced the British and Irish Lions during his international career; the Springboks lost the series 2-1.
In a statement, Mark Alexander, president of the South African Rugby Union, said: “Hannes was one of the great locks of his generation and one of our local game’s heroes as a member of the 1995 Springbok squad.”
“To lose yet another member of the iconic Bok squad from 1995 is a heavy blow to the rugby fraternity here in South Africa and our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Nikolie, their children, Annalie, Hannes and Lucy, family and friends in this very difficult time.”
A homage to Strydom has also come from his rugby union team, the Golden Lions, in South Africa.
The chief executive of the Lions, Rudolf Straeuli, who was also part of South Africa’s World Cup team in 1995, expressed his sincere sadness over Hannes’ passing.
“We share a tight bond as members of the 1995 group and to lose yet another one of our brothers is a big blow.”