n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Turning tragedy into triumph : editorial

Volume 22, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



I have just finished reading a book titled , written by Pat Tebbutt. It is an historical account of the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players' Fund which was established to support rugby players who have sustained serious injuries. The story starts in August 1980, the day Western Province played the Free State in Bloemfontein. Following a robust loose scrum, all the players involved got to their feet except Chris Burger of Western Province, who lay motionless on the ground with a broken neck. By 4 am the following morning he had died. This tragic event inspired his colleagues, led by the Western Province captain Morné du Plessis, to create the Chris Burger Players' Fund to raise money to support injured players. Thirty years later over 400 seriously injured players have been assisted by the fund at a cost of more than 30 million rand.

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