The Story of Cecil Moss in Tributes

Written by Gavin Fernie – Ikey Old Boy

‘To me, fair friend, you never can be old.’

– Shakespeare, sonnet 104 –


Every time I wandered into the Sports Science Wellness & Fitness Centre, to give it its grand name, I would marvel at the dedication and application Cecil Moss would apply to a set routine of exercise.01_Doc Moss in Springbok Jersey

Sometimes I would chat to Doc Moss in the change room about rugby (what else?) and each and every time I would learn something new
and interesting from his amazing knowledge of a game which had changed so much since he graced the rugby fields of SACS, UCT, Newlands, and all the other rugby venues of note in South Africa, as a young man. The hallmark of Cecil Moss was that he loved to talk about the game, the players past and present, but not about himself. That was Cecil Moss at his best. Relaxed, willing to share his great knowledge, spiced with wit and delightful anecdotes of the famous rugby players he had played alongside and against.

Dr. Peter Horrigan, a respected anesthetist in Cape Town, when asked if he knew Cecil Moss, would reply with his trademark dry wit, ‘Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I am his Gentile partner.’ I would have added to Peter’s delightful description by describing Cecil as Peter’s Gentle partner.

Cecil Moss hid an iron will and unswerving discipline and application under the cloak of courtesy, kindness and unfailing consideration for other people. He would never have achieved what he did on and off the rugby field, or in his chosen profession, if he had not combined all his talent with a deceptive dose of steel in his veins.

The measure of the man is captured in the tributes to him from a legion of people who appear in this Ikey story. It is a pouring out of love, admiration and respect for a very special Ikey who belonged on a much bigger stage, the stage on which for 92 plus years he gave his all, and Cecil Moss’s all was much more than most other men give family, friends and foes.

The measure of a man, who lives a very long time, is what is said of him when he shuffles off this mortal coil, by the men and women who had the privilege of knowing the person they are talking about as more than a passing acquaintance. Read what people felt about Cecil Moss, the man, the coach, the doctor, the friend…………… the mensch.


‘There are so few who can grow old with a good grace.

– Richard Steele, The Spectator, January 1st. 1711 –


For ease of navigation, click here to find a full content list for this tribute series.

I trust that you will enjoy the read.

Gavin Fernie

Ikey Old Boy