Tribute Series to Ikey Legend, Basil Bey.

Part 19: A Tribute By Des Newton.

Written by Gavin Fernie

Des Newton is a remarkable character in many ways.

Des has written book in which he tells his tales of the ‘Sporting Travels of a Karoo Son.’

It is a delightful tale in which Des traverses his boyhood in that special place, The Karoo, followed by his further education at St. Andrews College, Grahamstown, and on to the University of Stellenbosch. Des was an outstanding sportsman right from school onwards. I urge you to read his book. We forgive him for being a Matie. Nobody is perfect, least of all Maties – even if they think so.

Included in his rich panoply of sporting achievements and adventures, Des played at centre in the False Bay XV which, under Basil Bey’s coaching won the Grand Challenge in 1972.

Des has asked me to include this little gem on his behalf. I am his ‘spook’ writer in this case.

Des Newton

False Bay Old Boy

During the 1972 rugby season False Bay played a game against Van Der Stel, at Van Der Stel’s unfriendly home venue – never an easy game. At an advanced stage of this clash False Bay were in command. Despite the Bey mantra of “Play, play, never stop playing” ringing in the ears of the False Bay players, one individual forgot the tune. Dave McGregor was a fine player, but that day he went walkabout at some stage. It happens to the best of us.

False Bay won comfortably, but the seed was sown in that fertile brain which was the Bey.

At practice on the following Tuesday Basil handed Dave McGregor a folded note in the shed before proceedings commenced. Dave took the note, opened it, read it and with a look of utter bewilderment turned to Des and enquired what on earth it meant. Des, being of solid Christian stock, knew the Good Book better than most. Talk about a contradiction in terms!

Des perused the short note and patiently explained what the text intended to convey to Dave McGregor.

It read:

Proverbs 6:6… Go to the ant, you sluggard; Consider her ways and be wise. Proverbs 6:9… How Long will you Slumber, O Sluggard?; When will you rise from your sleep?

Dave McGregor pondered long and deep on this, went out to practice, and (according to witnesses) played as if his very life depended upon that performance on the rugby field.

Such was the wisdom and canny psychology of Basil Bey.

Here endeth the Lesson.

A Tribute Series to Ikey Legend, Basil Bey.

That great rugby man, a massive figure in my life, and in the lives of many of us, Basil Bey, ‘Pops’, as I affectionately called him, or Bey Pasha, passed away a short while ago. Basil had been critically ill with cancer for a long time, and when it spread to his bones, the referee was playing optional time.