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Oldest ex-Free State Rugby player passed away at 99

Posted on Monday, 03 Feb 2020

Oldest ex-Free State Rugby player passed away at 99

Francois van der Merwe (99) was the Free State’s oldest living provincial rugby player when he passed away months before his 100th birthday. 

Van der Merwe played hooker and represented the Free State in one match against Northern Transvaal in Pretoria in 1941, when he was selected on short notice as a substitute for Charlie McKenzie. 

He was born on 25 September 1920 in Senekal, grew up in Rosendal and completed his High School career in Harrismith, from where he later played for the North Eastern Free State sub-union team. 

He became a technician in the wool industry and studied in 1946 and 1947 in England.  He worked in Frankfort amongst other places and managed a guest house in St. Lucia in his later years. 

Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. 

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