Willem Delport
Full names: Willem Hendrik
Date of birth: 5 Nov 1920
Place of birth: Kirkwood
School: Kirkwood
Springbok no: 297
Debut test province: Eastern Province
Physical: 1.82m, 89.4kg
Date of death: 14 Oct 1984 (Age 63)

Test summary: Tests: 9 Tries: 2
First Test: 24 Nov 1951 Age:31 Hooker against Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Last Test: 26 Sep 1953 Age:32 Hooker against Australia at Crusaders (St George's Park), Port Elizabeth
Test history:
24 Nov 195131HookerScotlandWin: 44-01 tryMurrayfield, EdinburghEP
08 Dec 195131HookerIrelandWin: 17-5 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinEP
22 Dec 195131HookerWalesWin: 6-3 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffEP
05 Jan 195231HookerEnglandWin: 8-3 Twickenham, LondonEP
16 Feb 195231HookerFranceWin: 25-31 tryStade Olympique, Colombes, ParisEP
22 Aug 195332HookerAustraliaWin: 25-3 Ellispark, JohannesburgEP
05 Sep 195332HookerAustraliaLose: 14-18 Newlands, Cape TownEP
19 Sep 195332HookerAustraliaWin: 18-8 Kingsmead, DurbanEP
26 Sep 195332HookerAustraliaWin: 22-9 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethEP

Willa Delport : Doc Craven

Willem came from a famous Eastern Province family and was already at Stellenbosch when I returned from the war. A clean-living man and a very neat person in everything he did. Willem was a hooker who struck the ball so cleanly that we never had any problems in this department during the 1951/52 tour of the British Isles.

When he struck, the ball came out so swiftly and cleanly that we were immediately placed in an attacking position.

He worked very hard at being a good Springbok. He would work at night in the bathroom - of all places - planning moves and calculating where the ball should be thrown and how it should be struck. After the first test against Scotland which we won 44-0, I went into the dressing room and there he was lying, exhausted.

"Why are you so tired?" I asked. "After all it was an easy match."

He replied: "Doc, you told me to be everywhere where the ball was, whether it was on the wing, with the fullback, in broken play or wherever on the field. Well Doc, I stayed with the ball throughout the game."

That was Willem Delport for you: a man who gave his all, for the full duration of every match.