Home #FORTHELOVEOFTHEGAME Greatest Hits – ‘Die Doring van Despatch’

Greatest Hits – ‘Die Doring van Despatch’


One of the most gifted backline players off all time hails from a small town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa situated between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, Despatch.

He had the ability to step off both feet and had the strength to break any defence.

He played 115 matches for Eastern Province, 40 matches for Western Province and 24 for the Free State in his first class career.

Scoring 82 points in just 24 test matches explain maybe just how deadly he was on attack and how his class was just too much for any defence.

South Africa’s sporting isolation deprived many rugby fans of the chance to marvel at the skills of one of the game’s most gifted centres.

The hat-trick Gerber scored against England at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1984 was one off the finest rugby moments for me as a youngster watching the game.

That day he played outside South Africa’s first ever black flyhalf Errol Tobias.

In 1992, after South African rugby isolation, Gerber played his final five test matches against New Zealand in Johannesburg scoring two tries, Australia in Cape Town without scoring any points, France in Lyon and Parc des Princes scoring one try in each match and his final test was against England on Twickenham which went without scoring any points.

He also represented the Barbarians on three occasions.

Birth name Daniel Mattheus Gerber
Date of birth 14 April 1958 (age 62)
Place of birth Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 91 kg (201 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Eastern Province
Western Province
Free State
Correct as of 2007-10-31
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1980–1992 South Africa 24 (82)

Doc Craven wrote this about the man:

He is a natural; you never have to tell him what to do, he instinctively chooses the right option.

Show him that you have confidence in him and he will turn the world upside down!

Danie possesses unusual strength, speed and agility and using those skills and at tributes he has scored tries other players would sell their soul for; one of the greatest centres ever to represent South Africa.

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