Louis Luyt passes away

February 1, 2013
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Former South African Rugby boss Louis Luyt has died at the age of 80, it was confirmed on Friday.

Volksblad’s sport editor, Hendrik Cronjé, confirmed the news to Sport24 on Friday. The cause of Luyt’s death is still unknown but he had been suffering with heart ailments for some time.

Luyt was the president of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 1995.

He was also at the helm of the Transvaal Rugby Union (Golden Lions) in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Some more info on Dr. Luyt via SA Rugby press release:

‘Doc Luyt’ was intimately involved with talks with the then banned African National Congress (ANC) to bring about rugby unity in South Africa. He was also the key figure in negotiations that ensured national federations retained control of rugby when the game went professional at the end of 1995.

But he also earned criticism for some outspoken statements and decisions. His determination to legally contest the government’s right to appoint a commission of inquiry into rugby in 1998 led to President Nelson Mandela appearing in the witness box for five hours as a defence witness.

The court action was successful but Luyt’s rugby colleagues passed a motion of no confidence in his leadership, which led to his resignation.

“Doc Luyt was a single-minded and determined individual who dominated rugby politics following the death of Doc Craven,” said Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU. “On behalf of SARU I would like to send rugby’s condolences to his family and friends.”

Dr Luyt organised South Africa’s successful hosting of the nation-building 1995 Rugby World Cup and ensured that the national unions retained control of the game when it turned professional. In his time as president of the old Transvaal Rugby Union he turned it onto one of the richest and most powerful rugby organisations in the world.

His single-mindedness and determination to defend what he thought was right led him into controversy on many occasions and he was not concerned that he was far from being universally popular, both within rugby and without.

If, for nothing else, he will be remembered for being the man who brought the 1995 Rugby World Cup to South Africa, creating an occasion that showed the country what it could achieve in unity.

Louis Luyt was born in Britstown in the Karoo on 18 June 1932 and, as a player, represented Free State as a lock. He founded his own fertiliser business before moving into brewing and newspapers.

He rose to prominence as a rugby administrator through the Transvaal Rugby Union became president of South African rugby in March 1994.

Following his resignation in May 1998 he went into politics, winning election to the South African parliament as leader of his self-styled Federal Alliance.

He leaves behind his wife, Adri, and four children. Funeral arrangements have not been finalised yet.

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11 Comments

  1. avatar Boertjie says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Louis had a good innings in life.
    R I P

  2. avatar Morné says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    RIP Doc Luyt. Not my most favourite guy in the world ever but he left a huge mark on rugby in SA specifically the Lions. What he touched turned into success in rugby.

  3. avatar Boertjie says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Hy het baie foute gehad, maar hy was
    die laaste man wat nie kak van
    kabouters gevat het nie.

  4. avatar Jacques(Bunny)Die wat nie hier is nie is elders!! says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    RIP Doc, also not my best guy but things happened around him, everyone have faults but he had more good stuff in my eyes..

  5. avatar Vetgesmeerde Blits says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Nag ou grote

  6. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 11:18 am

    corporate governance was in place under LL, SA Rugby was respected by the world. He was good for the game, and the tail most certainly didn’t wag the dog under his command.

    RIP big man, you had a good innings

  7. avatar DavidS says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    No ref like Paddy No Brain was ever going to make a call Louis didn’t like…

    And definitely the Kiwi and Aussie game administrators suffered from shrunken shrivelled balls syndrome in his presence… I mean he arranged the first Super Rugby tournament so the final was played in SA at Ellis Park no matter who got to the final!!!!!

    Now wannabe JON walks around like a peacock with nothing but hot air to back him while SARU has Regan Hoskins who carefully bends with the wind and softcock Andy marinos negotiating for us and refereeing has become 16 vs the Boks…

  8. avatar Boertjie says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Can’t help wondering what the sharing of
    the Sanzar pie would have been like with
    LL around.
    Something like:
    SA 60%
    NZ 30%
    OZ 10%
    With the tag “Take it or leave it” added.

  9. avatar Craven says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 8:44 am

    What ever happened to Louis’ fax machine? :mrgreen:

  10. avatar DavidS says:
    February 4th, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Reply to Craven @ 8:44 am:

    I suppose harry Viljoen and Nic Mallett have it

  11. avatar Craven says:
    February 5th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    :lol:

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