EP great Davids passes away

Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:18
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 One of South African's great servants George Davids died at his home in Gelvan Park, Port Elizabeth on Monday.

One of South African rugby's great servants George Davids died at his home in Gelvan Park, Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon, 15 October 2012, after a heart attack. He was two months over 70.
Davids had suffered a long illness which included five strokes and the amputation of both legs. The last year or so of his life was more about being not dead than being alive.

An exact man of figures and a loyal man, Davids had been the paymaster at Ford for 24 years and then at Union Spinning Mills but it was through rugby that he was best known.

Because of his rugby involvement the mayor of Port Elizabeth named him Citizen of the Year in the category sport.

Davids's club was Wallabies in Port Elizabeth. He played for them and was their president from 1968 to 1994 - not just an administrator but also a player for some of the time that he was the president. In 1981 he and his older son Roger played together for Wallabies in the Eastern Province Rugby Union Super League Finals at the Adcock Stadium - and Wallabies won - such a proud occasion for the Davids family.

His son Roger is quoted in the Herald as describing his father as a “family man who helped everybody who knocked on his door. He also loved the community”.

Then after the unification of South Africa in the early 1990s, Davids was elected president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, a post he held from 1996 till 2010.

Jimmy Smith-Belton who was the chairman of referees and served on the disciplinary committee, remembers Davids as the most honest and straight of rugby administrators with only the interests of the game at heart.

Former  rugby team-mate, Councillor Nico du Plessis said Davids “was a great believer in doing the right thing and anybody who wanted to go against principles of fairness, he'd take you on.

“He was a hard worker and dedicated. I was a junior to him when he served on the Eastern Province Rugby Union, and I always looked up to him."

Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU and the vice-chairman of the International Rugby Board, said: “We were very saddened to hear of George’s passing.

“He’s been a stalwart of rugby in the Eastern Cape and has served the game in South Africa unselfishly for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”

George Davids is survived by his wife Marjorie and their four children, sons Roger and Wayne who is a bank manager in Johannesburg, and daughters Heather and Charmelle, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.