Rajah Martheze
Full names: William Charles
Date of birth: 29 Nov 1877
Place of birth: Robben Island
School: Kimberley Boys' High
Springbok no: 82
Debut test province: Griqualand West
Physical: 1.85m, 80.7kg
Date of death: 16 Feb 1912 (Age 34)

Test summary: Tests: 3 Tries: 0
First Test: 5 Sep 1903 Age:25 Forward against Britain at Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, Kimberley
Last Test: 1 Dec 1906 Age:29 Forward against Wales at St. Helens, Swansea
Test history:
05 Sep 190325ForwardBritainDraw: 0-0 Kimberley Athletic Club Ground, KimberleyGriquas
24 Nov 190628ForwardIrelandWin: 15-12 Ravenhill Grounds, BelfastGriquas
01 Dec 190629ForwardWalesWin: 11-0 St. Helens, SwanseaGriquas


WILLIAM CHARLES MARTHEZE (Kimberley, Griqualand West and South Africa) was born at Malmesbury in 1878, stands 5 feet 9 inches in height, and weighs exactly 12 stone. Although lighter possibly than most of the other members of the pack, he is one of the best forwards of the fourteen. He possesses plenty of pace, which he knows how to make use of to the best advantage; but what I admired in him most was the genuine and honest way in which he worked in the scrums. There are plenty of heavier men playing in the team who do not shove within pounds of what Martheze does; yet whenever he comes out of the pack he is always on the ball, and goes hard for his man; and there are few faster forwards in the open than he is. He learned all his football in Kimberley, and has been connected with the Kimberley Club for quite twelve years. He gained his place in the Kimberley team in 1897. In 1899 he represented Griqualand West at the tournament at Kimberley. In 1903 he was selected for Griqualand West against the English team, and his fine play also gained him his South African cap at Kimberley. In 1904 he was again selected to play for Griqualand West in the Currie Cup at East London, and there the "Rajah'" as he is called, was one of the best forwards of a good pack. During the last tournament he again represented Griqualand West, and no forward on the side worked harder than he. He is an excellent athlete, and has won many prizes at short distance events on the flat. In the tour just concluded he was one of the hardest working forwards in the pack, whilst in the open his clever foot play and splendid following up and deadly tackling have been of great service to his side.