15 June 2021 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Supplied
Dougie Heymans
Dougie Heymans was the Head of Rugby at the University of the Free State until his passing.

A Shimla great, a passionate rugby and family man, and a dream colleague are just some of the descriptions of how Dougie Heymans will be remembered.

Heymans, Assistant Director: KovsieSport and Head of Rugby, passed away on Monday due to the COVID-19 disease. He was 58.

He will leave a massive legacy in his capacity as rugby administrator, said DB Prinsloo, Director of KovsieSport. “Dougie was so precise in his work. He had a huge work ethic. Everything he did was textbook stuff. He is going to be missed immensely.”

According to Prinsloo, messages of condolence have been pouring in from far and wide. One of many was from former Protea cricket great, Allan Donald, nowadays the head coach of the Knights cricket team.
“It is indeed a shock to the entire sporting world. I knew Dougie very well, his involvement with varsity rugby, but also rugby in the Free State, made a huge impact on sports. This is a huge loss not only for the Cheetahs, but also Bloemfontein and the entire region. We sadly lost a legend,” he said.

Heymans played for the Shimlas between 1989 and 1994 and went on to represent the Free State in 154 matches until 2001.In 2009, he started working for the University of the Free State. He was the man in charge of Varsity Cup matches at Shimla Park.
“They say no one is irreplaceable, but it is going to be tough to follow in his massive footsteps. It is very hard not having him around anymore. He was a fantastic colleague,” Prinsloo said.

Former Shimla and Springbok, Toks van der Linde, who played with and against Heymans, said he had lost a great friend. “He was more than a friend, like a brother to us younger guys. RIP big brother, we are going to miss you.”

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.