Damian Willemse
Photo Credit: @iamdamiangaza/Instagram; @Brendennel/ X

While Springboks player Damian Willemse might have been praised for a stellar match on Sunday, his time on the field also stuck out for other heart-touching reasons. Willemse wore a special dedication to a former schoolmate in very tough circumstances:


Global (19 September 2023)—Springboks player Damian ‘Gazza’ Willemse might have been praised for his steller Sunday match against Romania as part of the Rugby World Cup, but for many fans, something else about Willemse’s time on the field stuck out and reached hearts.

Tied around Willemse’s wrist in the winning match was a dedication to Benje Momberg. Earlier this month, Momberg who was shot and consequently paralysed after a robbery took place in Stellenbosch, reportedly at his business premises.

While this time has been hell for the young man’s family as Brenden Nel (who knows the family) shared, Willemse’s subtle but powerful display for his former schoolmate and friend meant a lot.

“The smallest gesture meant so much. This is class. This is why these players mean so much. They will never shout it out to the rooftops but they are class. Thank you Gazza. I know the family appreciated this so much.”—Brenden Nel.

Willemse further emphasised his support for Benje, dedicating Sunday’s win to him:

“I would like to dedicate this win to you my friend Benje. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your friends & family. Stay strong my bro!”

Willemse’s gesture reminds us that the spotlight in sport (or any field) matters beyond winning or losing. Victories or adversities. Especially in South Africa, sport has long been a platform that epitomises unity in its simplest form—rooting for our country. And what is unity if not support? Or showing up? Or a simple wristband message that says to another person or family in great distress, ‘I am here for you, and this gift of mine is in your honour today’.

Sources: Various (Linked Above)
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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