'A hero, a great Bok, a friend': Tributes pour in for James Small
Tributes poured in on social media on Wednesday as news spread of former Springbok James Small's death.
Small, who turned 50 earlier this year, was part of the Springbok team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Many hailed the player, known as a rebel, as a childhood hero who inspired them to play the game.
People from all walks of life shared their feelings on Twitter and Facebook. Here are some of the tributes:
I'm shocked and v saddened to hear about James Small. Not the easiest oke to ref on the field but one of the kindest off it. Amazing self belief and always keen to challenge, its probably what made him special. A hero, a great Bok, a friend.. RIP Bro. You made the most of life!— Jonathan Kaplan (@RefJK) July 10, 2019
Met James Small once at coaching clinic. Brilliant guy, greeted every player and took time out for everyone even the fathers of the players after the clinic.— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) July 10, 2019
World Cup Winner and did what very few men could and kept Jonah Lomu off the scoresheet. #RIPLegend
In 95 our school gave us an opportunity to write to our rugby heroes before the World Cup started,without hesitation I knew who I would write to and I got a reply,James Small was one the greatest to ever play the game,my heart raced when I saw him a few months ago #RIPJamesSmall pic.twitter.com/M2K9CEKL4T— Vuyolwethu Ngcukana (@vuyomse) July 10, 2019
Rest in peace , James Small.....portion of my childhood belongs to you .✌🏿— Mayihlome (@MTshwete) July 10, 2019
Sad to hear of the passing of Rugby great James Small...my condolences to his family and thank you for all you did for SA Rugby(remember you being in our changeroom in 96 Afcon...RIP Brother!!— Mark Fish (@markfish74) July 10, 2019
Oh no 🥺. I had a pair of short black rugby shorts branded "James Small" They were my absolute favourites. When I met him some years later at a game at Ellis Park, I told him about those shorts, he laughed loud and insisted we have a springbok. (shooter)— Kabelo (@KbzFire) July 10, 2019