A TRUE LEGEND: CHARLIE KOSTER
The moniker "legend" is too easily bandied about nowadays, reducing that honour to a flippant compliment when used to describe a truly deserving legend. One such recipient is Charlie Koster, who passed away on last week after a long battle with cancer.
A natural sportsman with a zest for life, a deep compassion for his fellow beings and a positive attitude seldom equaled, Koster's trademark smile disarmed and relaxed people, opening the door to a true gentleman and humanitarian. He left his mark wherever he went, and it was always kindness, compassion and genuine interest in his fellow man.
Koster joined False Bay RFC in 1988, at a time when most young players chose other clubs as an option. His dedication and passion to the club burned brightly until the very end. He re[resented the Bay's First XV at flyhalf as first choice for a few seasons and when his competitive days had passed, he became a stalwart of the Club's highly successful Jocks team, which experienced a highly successful run in the later '90s.
Upon returning to his native Beaufort West to resume farming, Koster kept in constant contact with members, visiting the club whenever down in Cape Town. In the early days of False Bay's resurgence, after the Bay had won just about all the silverware in the Super league B, he donated sheep for the Annual Dinner, specifically to enable all players to attend and not be excluded through affordability.
A natural at whatever sport he set his focus on, Charlie represented Bishops First Teams at rugby and cricket. Later in life, his natural skills came to the fore as he blazed the golf course.
Yet one's achievements on a sports field wain as time passes and it is the depth of character and caring for one's fellow man which sets one apart from others and it is here that Koster excelled, the former already mentioned and the letter evident as he faced his illness with strength and decorum.
"No matter who you were he showed the same interest in you regardless of who you were or what you had or had not achieved in life. He despised bullies and bullying. He loved his friends and team mates. He loved his family", says Kevin Lennett, Chairman of FBRFC.
Although this homage is focused on False Bay RFC, Koster touched the hearts of all he encountered on the sports field or course. Enduring friendly ribbing for years from rivals to join their rugby club, he indubitably countered with his commitment to the Constantia club, obvious to all but still fodder for healthy ribbing.
"Proudly, we at False Bay RFC can claim to be part of his family. Charles represented our club at First team level with great distinction. Most importantly he made friends for life here. He loved following The Bays successes over the last few years and would always check in with me to see how things were going. To see others do well always made him so happy", said Lennett.
Craig Wilson, former Bay hooker said, "I've known Charlie for 47 years. He was a fantastic friend. I think his many, many, mates new and old will feel they've known him all their lives. What a really good man. You've left a gaping hole. Have one for us up there with your Dad, Oom Piet and Basil. Cheers Charlie"
Your club will miss you, Charlie, as will the rugby and sporting community, not to mention your family and many, many friends.
A true legend.