Two weeks ago, the rugby world was in mourning for South African great Joost Van Der Westhuizen, who lost his brave fight against motor neurone disease. Van Der Westhuizen would have turned 46 today and he will always be remembered as a warrior on and off the field.
He goes down as one of the finest scrum-halves in history, scoring 38 tries in 89 appearances, which made him the most-capped Springbok at the time. His finest hour came at the 1995 World Cup, playing a significant role in stopping the All Blacks to lift the prestigious trophy on home soil. He skippered the national team for four years before retiring in 2003.
In 2011, he learnt he had motor neurone disease, and was confined to a wheelchair, but that did not stop him from raising awareness of the disease through his charity – the J9 Foundation.
Other sports stars born on this day:
1969: Siniša Mihajlović, former Serbian defender and now manager of Italian club Torino (48).
1963: Charles Barkley, ex-NBA player and two-time Olympic gold medalist with USA (54).
1971: Jari Litmanen, former Finnish skipper and ex-Liverpool, Barcelona and Ajax striker (46).
1981: Tony Hibbert, retired English footballer, who played his entire career with Everton (36).