Ikey Old Boy
A big regret is that I only played one game with Basil – that unforgettable UCT Past and Present game against the might of Stellenbosch at Green Point Stadium. The score as I recall: UCT 26 – Stellenbosch 13.
Ikey Old Boy
Ek het met hartseer, maar met wonderlike herinneringe van Basil Bey se heengaan gelees.
Ek glo dat hy beslis die innoverendste rugby brein gehad het wat ek ooit raakgeloop het. Hy het die sterk punte benut van die ongeveer 20 spelers wat in die vroeë sewentigerjare by die Valsbaairugby klub eerste spanpotensiaal gehad het, en ’n spelpatroon geskep wat daartoe gelei het dat Valsbaai die Groot Uitdaagbeker in 1972 teen alle verwagtinge in gewen het.
Valsbaai het meegeding teen die groot kanonne Maties, Ikeys en Villagers. Ons het nie ’n groot pak voorspelers gehad nie en dit het maar swaar gegaan in die skrums. Hy kom toe vorendag met ’n sg. miniskrum… net drie spelers in die skrum en net wanneer binne vyf meter van die teenstan ders se doellyn geskrum word. Die agt stoomroller uiteraard die drie, maar die bal spat enige kant toe en ons druk op dié manier ’n paar drieë.
Ek sal nie vergeet nie hoe Dok Craven ná die wedstryd teen die Maties aan my gesê het hy sal sorg dat hierdie truuk in rugby verbied word!
Basil was sy tyd vervoor uit en ’n voorstander daarvan dat die bal die werk moet doen en dat enige geleentheid wat opduik om tien meter voor jou te speel, gebruik moes word. Só het Valsbaai die beker met hardlooprugby gewen! Sy gunstelingsêding was: “Every kick is a bad kick!”
Dit was vir my ’n voorreg om deur Basil die fyner kunsies van rugby geleer te word. Basil, ek sal jou altyd onthou as een van die beste afrigters onder wie ek gespeel het, as jy nie dié beste was nie! Rus sag, ou grote!
Ikey Old Boy
Basil meant a lot to False Bay Rugby. His move from UCT in the mid-60’s attracted others to ‘play for the Bay’ and laid the foundation of a quality side which would go on to win the WP Grand Challenge in 1972. By then he had become the inspirational coach of that team. It was in many ways a pinnacle, a culmination and inevitable outcome of a talented group that he had motivated with his understated wisdom, rather than the robust exhortations to fire his troops that had marked his playing days – when his legendary posture and leadership style was revered by every schoolboy who frequented Newlands. In those years, Basil Bey was synonymous with False Bay. He would later gather fellows from across the Peninsula, who had revelled in the Newlands of yore, to tour as Bey’s BaaBaas to exotic destinations in Europe and the East, Hong Kong and Thailand. Much fun was had, Basil always at the helm. Great Rugby experiences were key.
We spent a wonderful Summer and season when Basil was appointed to coach UCT 1stXV, along with Ian McCallum, at the end of the 1980 season. We seemed to have spent that entire summer at Castle corner, watching cricket and talking rugby, rugby, rugby with our new Coach, as the beer cans piled up high around us. I was introduced to Ollies, Basil style; I lent his treasured scrapbooks; visited their home in Plumstead late at night; and enjoyed Zita’s company and zest. Things seemed to change when she died. It was so sad to see him demeaned by his University and going off to coach Vics. It was so sad to see him being demeaned by his school. But he endured. The people knew better.
He oversaw the founding of our False Bay Junior Rugby Academy in 2004. We met at Ollies with the Hammies guys, and the Bishops Academy he had started was split into a northern section under Hamiltons and a Southern section, with us at the Bay. There have been good years and average years since, but thankfully coach Pieter Benade continues that legacy with the False Bay youngsters. More than a decade later, Basil then came down to coach – he must have been seventy-ish at the time!
More recently, is was a privilege to discuss with him the opening of the Louis De Waal Room at False Bay RFC, and his tribute to his great friend, Louis, after whom it was named, on that occasion. It was also special to have our local Councillor, Liz Brunette, cut the ribbon on that occasion, as her dad, Tom Hamman, had been Basil and Louis’s Coach at UCT, fifty years before.
It was very special to see him at the Club, seated alongside Gus Enderstein on the day we won the SLA, in August. Thank heavens Trevor Quirk captured the moment and extracted those rare words of rugby praise from the oracle, for the soon-to-be released DVD of the season. He enjoyed the style, he said, the running rugby, the width and the passion with which his team, False Bay, had played made him reminiscent of his 1972 Grand Challenge Champion side. In a sense, the wheel had come full circle after 44 years. The 2016 team had equalled that feat, indeed surpassed it, by reaching the Finals of the Gold Cup, the SA National Open Clubs Championship.
We had so wanted him to be there on the evening we had planned to celebrate the season, with past players, including those of his team from 1972, a couple of weeks ago. In a sense, he was.