A Tribute to Gary Grant

Ikeys are mourning the sad and untimely death of Gary Grant, ex Ikey player and administrator, and one of our staunchest supporters.

Note from Greg Fury:
Gary arrived in 1992 to take over from Rob Wagner as Sports Administrator responsible for rugby. He came from a similar role at Wits where he had played for many years as well as for Transvaal – he got quite a few caps for a very good Transvaal team – normally behind Harry Viljoen who had been first choice. Despite Mikey Kirsten being at UCT and the first choice WP scrum-half, Gary played at UCT for several years before moving down the teams to more social rugby. In the days before subs, Gary (who was for a time the no2 scrum-half in WP as well as UCT and won a few WP caps) played several games for the 2nds when Mikey and the other WP players were available for the club. He did so without complaint and with 100% effort.

On the field, he was big for a scrum-half in those days and very physical and competitive. Off the field, he was a real gentleman and being not much older was able to relate to the students easily – despite being married and with son, Dean already on the side of the field.

He was a huge support to me as Club Captain in 1992/3 when the involvement of the old boys was much less than today and the administrator, the committee and the senior coaches (Solly was still there) did all the work.

Gary had also been a schoolboy star in a very good KES era and for Transvaal Craven Week. Many of his best friend’s date from school and Wits rugby and he brought Murray Stone to UCT from Wits the year after he arrived – who was always a great friend.

From John Le Roux:
My memory was of a very capable UCT 1st team scrum-half, and after retiring from 1st team, he joined the MC Marais 4ths and we had fun together. Gary’s job was to help the 4th team win the game. Mine was to look after his son, Dean (about 10 years old at the time). It wasn’t surprising that Dean went missing quite often as I was more involved in looking at the game than looking after him.

Gary played a great role in UCT winning the Varsity Cup in 2014 along with son Dean who played flyhalf.

Gary found his real home in the cut and thrust of sports business where he demonstrated excellent marketing skills. From 1996 until 2004 he worked at the SA Rugby Union, culminating in his appointment as Marketing Director under Rian Oberholzer, the Chief Executive. He and Oberholzer subsequently founded In-Site Sports and when it became Accelerate Sport, Grant took the reins as MD, where one of his biggest accounts was Netball South Africa.

Gary will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. Our hearts and sincere condolences go out to his wife Debbie, daughter Jamie and son Dean.