Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Cape Town club Hamiltons, the club former Springbok Solly Tyibilika was playing for in recent times, has come to his family’s aid to pay for the costs of his funeral.
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Tyibilika was gunned down at a tavern in Cape Town on Sunday in a moment that shocked the entire South African rugby family, bringing a premature end to his life and career.
The former Griquas, Sharks, Lions, Border and Springbok flanker’s family will have to continue without him, but the club is looking to ensure that the costs of the funeral at least are paid for.
First team manager Michael Stakemire sent out an email to club members appealing for donations for Tyibilika’s funeral.
“As you are all aware Solly Tyibilika our team-mate was tragically taken from us on Sunday. Solly went through difficult times. He has left behind a wife and 2 children, Solly Junior and Oewth (a 9 month old daughter),” the email read.
“It would be appreciated if you would please consider making a donation towards the funeral and other costs that the family are going to have to pay for.”
Tyibilika was born in Port Elizabeth and first played rugby ay Loyiso High School in the Zwide Township. He made his professional debut for Griquas in 2001 before moving on to the Lions and the Sharks.
He made his Test debut in 2004 against Scotland in Edinburgh, earning the distinction of scoring a try on his first appearance to achieve the significant milestone in rugby history of becoming the first black African to score a Test try for the Springboks.
He played in eight Tests in total - scoring three tries - the last of them against New Zealand in Pretoria in 2006.
He moved to the Lions in 2007 but never settled in Johannesburg and re-emerged in his native Eastern Cape playing for Border between 2008 and 2010, captaining the Bulldogs from time to time. He had spent the 2011 season playing club rugby for Hamiltons.
He made 158 first-class appearances in all, scoring 24 tries, for Griquas, Sharks, Lions and Border, including 16 appearances in Super Rugby for the Sharks.