Bloemfontein - The last front row player of the victorious Free State team that won the Currie Cup the first time in 1976, Martiens le Roux, died in a car accident shortly after the Currie Cup final on Saturday.
Le Roux, 54, was a former Springbok prop and played in 162 matches for Free State.
He was assistant Shimlas coach this year and his son, Nicolaas, 22, is captain and flank of the club.
Le Roux died in the Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic a few hours after watching the final with his son and wife Judy, 54.
The couple were on their way home to their farm outside Estoire shortly after 21:00.
An eye witness said the accident occurred in Albrecht Street, on the new extension close to a traffic light in Brill Street.
The driver of an oncoming vehicle apparently lost control of his vehicle, which crossed the median and hit the couple's car.
The back of the oncoming vehicle hit the bonnet, and the biggest impact was on the passenger side, where Le Roux sat.
Doctors battled for more than an hour to save him after his aorta burst. His pelvis, hip and shoulder were crushed and several ribs were broken.
The driver of the other vehicle, Manny Spinola, is at home, recovering from neck and back injuries.
Judy, who was driving, had a cut on her forehead and is expected to be allowed to go home on Monday.
Le Roux's brother Petrus says Judy is in a stable condition. "She's fully conscious and is in severe shock."
The brothers were in the stadium on Saturday, watching the final.
"We talked over the phone. We couldn't find one another in the crowd because there were too many people."
'We should have won this match'
Roelf Lindeque, a cousin, was with the Le Roux's after the game.
"He was as always in a positive frame of mind and I remember his words well: 'We should have won this match. What do you think?"
Le Roux also leaves his daughter, Jana, 24 and his 86-year-old mother Elize.
- Danel Blaauw