Pretoria - Fans were trickling into Loftus Versfeld on Friday for the public memorial service of former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen.
15 000 supporters are reportedly expected, but that number looked a long way off with an hour to go until the start of the service.
Van der Westhuizen passed away on Monday after a long battle with motor neuron disease.
A booklet of tributes was distributed to media at the service that was filled with tear-jerking messages from family and friends.
A photo of Van der Westhuizen with the words "I'm just a boertjie from Pretoria who loved what he did" appeared on the cover.
Inside the booklet were hand-written letters from Van der Westhuizen's two children, Kylie (10) and Jordan (13).
"I'm sorry you had to go, but I know that you wanted to," Kylie wrote.
"I know you are having a blast in heaven.
"You will always be in my heart."
Jordan called Van der Westhuizen the "best rugby player of the world" and he said he wanted to be "the best sportsman like you".
He also asked his dad to put in a good word with God in asking for a Liverpool victory.
Jordan also drew a picture of himself and his dad together on a rugby field surrounded by four No 9 jerseys with the names Joost, Jordan, Kylie and Amor on the back.