At the annual Awards Dinner held at the Bergvliet Sports Club on 11 October 2013 The President of FBRFC Mr Louis De Waal conferred the honour of Life Membership on false Bay stalwart, Mr Matthew Napoleon. He made a poignant and gracious acceptance speech.
The Sixties and Seventies were difficult times and Mathew Napoleon, or Nappy as he is often called, had just wanted to play Rugby.
There were three different controlling bodies in the sport at that stage and Matthew played for SA Rugby Union (SARU), The SA Rugby Federation and eventually found his home at False Bay Rugby Football Club, at a time when it was politically incorrect and indeed difficult for a man of colour to do so. He made many sacrifices and took personal risks but False Bay welcomed him because of his rugby ability alone and he was one of the team.
Matthew was an outstanding prop forward who was selected to play against international touring sides in the seventies and stood up to the best of his generation with aplomb. At Unity in 1992 Matthew was awarded Springbok Colours for having represented his country under The Federation banner.
After stopping to play Matthew remained a staunch supporter of False Bay Rugby and served on our Committee and as delegate to WP Rugby for a couple of years. He remains an avid supporter and keen follower of the First Team and is a vocal fieldside instructor of referees who might dare to penalize The Bay.
He is a great Bay man and it is privilege to accord him the Honour of Life Member of The False Bay Rugby Football Club.