Fanie, Boy's brother, was a little bit shorter than Boy and not quite as versatile a player, but he had a very jovial manner, always well liked, and forever up to some kind of mischief.
Here was a fearless man. An example: Stellenbosch were playing against Paarl, and Fanie, going for a tackle, missed his mark and after hitting the ground rolled for a good two metres, which goes to show how much he had put into the tackle.
He and I were room-mates on the 1937 tour, and I must confess that I certainly preferred the way things were then. When you chose your room-mate you stayed room-mates for the whole of the tour. Having had the experience of touring with Fanie on the 1931/32 tour, it seemed natural that we should team up as roommates. As a result he and I got to know each other very well.
He often complained of a bad pain in his back, particularly after a tough match. I used to massage his back to give him relief but it was so bad sometimes that he would vomit. He always ascribed the pain to having worked underground in the gold-mines.
Two or three years after the 1937 tour, Western Province were playing a match against Transvaal, in Johannesburg. Fanie, who was the Transvaal skipper, had the peculiar habit of sneaking up from behind and biting one's ear. At half-time, while I was standing chatting to Gerry Brand, I received a painful nip on my ear and I turned and said: "Hello, Fanie," knowing immediately who it was.
We exchanged a few pleasantries and he said: "You know, Danie, I'm not feeling all that well. I've got flu and I shouldn't be playing."
After returning to Pretoria after the match I walked into my hotel room and the radio was on. The announcer said: "We regret to announce that Fanie Louw, who captained Transvaal to their win over Western Province this afternoon, has just died."
An autopsy was performed and to everyone's amazement it was found that the aorta, which is normally the size of half-a-crown, was in Fame's case so narrow that the doctor could hardly fit his pinkie into it. He'd been born with this malformed aorta and also had only one kidney.
He was a very light forward as forwards go and yet possessed tremendous power. I cannot recall ever seeing Fanie Louw budge an inch, even against props much bigger than himself.