Didn’t know this at all

Former Springbok captain Joost van der Westhuizen is in a critical condition in hospital, the J9 Foundation has confirmed.

The 45-year-old ex-scrumhalf has been fighting Motor Neurone Disease (MND) since 2011, and has in recent times required an oxygen tank on occasion to help him breathe.

What a shitty thing to happen to a sportsmn.

Sure, OK, it’s shitty for anyone but specifically for someone who was absolutely fighting fit for all those years.

14 comments on “Didn’t know this at all

  1. A sensitive guy too. A pal sat next to him on a plane after he broke his arm which ruled him out of the world cup. He was crying.

  2. There’s no point complaining about God’s sense of humour, Tim. It’s made pretty clear in the Old Testament. As Randolph Churchill said “God, isn’t God a shit?”.

  3. Certainly a terrible thing to happen to anyone. But come on, why is it worse for him than anyone else? Didn’t he have years when he was ‘fighting fit’ that other people did not? I’ll bet he found his school years pretty easy, even if he was thick as a post, as somehow, sporting achievement trumps everything else. Come on girls, now who would you prefer: the man with the ripped body and a brain like a blancmange or a geek like Bill Gates without his money? And lads: who (except Chuckles) prefers Camilla to a sex goddess? That’s assuming she’s smart as well as ugly, for which I can find no evidence.

    So you were lucky: you were fit, you were talented, you were good looking, you were rich: but now get a taste of real life. Sorry. Most people don’t even have a taste of any of those things.

    None of that stops it being shit. Just it isn’t more shit for them.

  4. As humans, we think it worse when an athlete is paralyzed, a beautiful woman scarred or a genius stricken with Altzheimer’s, and one hand it isn’t, because shit can happen to anyone, but on the other, we all feel diminished by the loss of a special person.

    As the Jews say, if God lived on Earth, people would break his windows.

  5. It’s worse for him personally in the same way it would be worse for someone who lost both legs later in life than someone born with no legs.

    Neither have legs but one can remember what having legs is like.

    But it’s more marginal in this case. Even if you never got higher than on the bench for the 4th XV, having MND would be shit.

  6. Is it really any more a surprise than the neurological issues faced by gridiron players? After all, rugby players do use their heads too, if not nearly as much as NFL players.

  7. @RlJ: it’s true – when a child is murdered and a photo appears in the paper, it’s impossible not to feel it more if she’s a pretty wee girl.

  8. RlJ,

    I refer you to Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam as to which is best out of a shit pair of choices.

  9. There are claims that South African players of that era seem to be more prone to neurological disorders. Doubt it’s more than grouping and spite though.

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