One day I happened to be watching the Maties third team playing when I saw a big fellow, hair longer than was customary in those days, playing at fullback. And, although he played well, I could sense that there was something wrong.
Mr Markotter came along and said: "Danie, that big, clumsy chap will make a very good forward - that is where he will become a Springbok." He was duly moved to forward and that is where Jan Pickard gained his Bok colours.
Jan was Jan. No one could tell him what to do - he wouldn't listen anyway. He wanted to do things his own way.
When Western Province played he had the habit of keeping a few opponents busy by making them so cross that they would want to work him over. He had a unique style for a forward, often standing among the backs and when the ball came out he would make the extra man.
If you left him to his own devices, let him have his own way, Jan Pickard was brilliant. Jan subsequently proved himself in the business world as he did on the rugby field. People like Jan who can make decisions and take chances, will make a success of everything they do.
Jan Pickard is a financial genius and that is one of the reasons why Western Province are in the sound financial position they are today. With Jan Pickard as chairman, particularly of the finance committee, it is not surprising. It's also not surprising that Western Province's golden period in the early '80's came about with Jan at the helm.