Davey Cope
Full names: David Gill
Date of birth: 14 Aug 1877
Place of birth: Kimberley
School: Diocesan College (Bishops)
Springbok no: 41
Debut test province: Transvaal
Date of death: 16 Aug 1898 (Age 21)

Test summary: Tests: 1 Tries: 0
First Test: 22 Aug 1896 Age:19 Full Back against Britain at Wanderers, Johannesburg
Last Test: 22 Aug 1896 Age:19 Full Back against Britain at Wanderers, Johannesburg
Test history:
DateAgePositionOpponentResultScoreVenueProv
22 Aug 189619Full BackBritainLose: 8-171 conversionWanderers, JohannesburgTvl

Davey Cope

Davey Cope was born in Kimberley, educated at Bishops in Cape Town, and drawn to the new gold mining town of Jonhannesburg in the 1890s.

He was an outstanding sportsman and played cricket for Transvaal and made his rugby debut for South Africa eight days after his 19th birthday in 1896.

In that first test match appearance - playing against a British Lions side - fullback Cope kicked the first goal in South African test rugby and, although the match was lost, it was a significant day.

Today Davey Cope is still the second youngest Springbok of all time but he never knew he would one day be known as such a 'beast' - Davey Cope was dead two days after his 21st birthday.

He lost his life in a train crash at Mostert's Hoek on his way to Cape Town to compete for Transvaal in the 1898 Currie Cup tournament. Teammate Bob Tait passed away a week later of his injuries.

RIP Davey Cope.