As we mourn the loss of our dear rugby friend Joost van der Westhuizen, we can look back at this documentary that shows the great things he did in his life, on and off the pitch.
Joost played his first game for the Springboks on November 6, 1993, when South Africa took on Argentina in Buenos Aires. He went on to play another 88 times for his beloved country, with the very last match of his international career coming against New Zealand on November 8, 2003, at his third Rugby World Cup.
During his glittering career, he scored a phenomenal 56 tries for the Springboks, a record that was only recently broken by the speedster Bryan Habana in 2014. Along the way, he was asked to captain his international team on 10 occasions, which he did with pride and distinction.
He will perhaps be best remembered for his role in South Africa lifting the Rugby World Cup at home when they beat the All Blacks.
As a result of winning the Tri Nations tournament in 1998, the South African Rugby Union named him captain for the 1999 world cup, where the team finished third.
When he retired on 89 caps he was the most capped South African player of all time, since that date however 5 players have surpassed that number.
He was sadly diagnosed with MND in 2011 and despite his brave fight with the debilitating illness he constantly used all of his energy to take part in charity work across the whole of South Africa, fighting for other people’s lives as his slowly faded.
This short documentary shows us a glimpse of the man behind the jersey and how his life was affected as the illness ran its course.
Dan Higgins, Pundit Arena