It is with great sadness that the Golden Lions Rugby Union has learnt of the passing of one of South Africa's most iconic rugby figures – Louis Luyt.
Luyt was born in 1932 in the Karoo and went on to represent, and captain, the Orange Free State from the 1950s.
In 1989 Luyt took over the presidency of the Transvaal Rugby Union, building it into a world class entity.
During this time, he was elected as the President of the South African Rugby Football Union.
While at SARFU, Luyt looked to transform the game of rugby into a professional sport.
He was able to play a critical role in the re-entry of the Springboks to international competition, following more than a decade of isolation.
GLRU President Kevin de Klerk is deeply saddened by the news of Luyt's passing and conveyed his condolences to Luyt's family.
"I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to Doc Luyt's dear wife and children on behalf of myself and the Golden Lions Rugby Union," he said.
"This Union was always regarded as his home in rugby and we are saddened by the news of his passing."
De Klerk refers to Luyt as a close and personal friend, who he had the utmost respect for.
"He was always a great mentor, for most of us involved in the game, and we always strove to attain the very high standards that he set. I will sorely miss him."
* The Eastern Province Rugby Union added their voices to the chorus of tributes pouring in for Luyt.
"The EPRU would like to express its deepest condolences to the family and friends of former SARFU president Louis Luyt," a statement said.
EPR President, Cheeky Watson said Luyt had been a pillar of the rugby community.
"I think he's synonymous with South Africa rugby and one of the pillars of South Africa rugby," Watson said.
"Louis Luyt made a tremendous contribution to the sport in this country and we've lost an absolute stalwart and pillar as far as South African rugby is concerned," he added.
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