REST IN PEACE BRIAN PETERS
One of False Bay RFC’s true legends has passed.
Brian Peters, born 10 January 1945, passed away on Wednesday (27 July) as a result of complications following surgery to his hip.
Every club is blessed with stalwarts, those who proudly fly the flag of their beloved club, in storms, doldrums and sunny conditions. Brian was at the forefront of those at the Bay.
Born in the former Rhodesia, Brian made an impact on the Western Province Club Rugby scene in the early Eighties as a respected and much-loved referee. Fair, informed, fit and unflappable, Brian enjoyed the on-field banter with players in an era when the referee was an adjudicator of law application. During this era, the man in the middle was not expected to warn players to get back on-side or roll away, rather to mete out the deserved justice according to the transgression. Brian managed this fairly and strictly but always with a friendly jibe to the player, his lofty “nose-in-the-air” stance clearly signalling that debate was not an option.
Referees have no club affiliation but as the curtain drew on Brian’s career, he joined False Bay Rugby Club, where he was immediately welcomed and made to feel at home. Rare for a referee (lol).
His presence and impact was immediate as he was elected to the Club’s Committee, serving until just about three years before his passing. During that time Brian served as delegate to the WPRFU, inter alia, and tirelessly helped keep the club going.
Always a go-to man during his tenure, his popularity in Club Rugby circles was immense. Cries of “Hello Mr. Peters” or “Mr. False Bay” would ring out as he walked by at whatever venue the club found itself on any particular match-day. He would stop and chat for a minute to whoever had summoned him with that cry, ensuring that the respect paid was not devalued into a call of adulation.
Brian possessed an incredible talent for never showing his true feelings, something which made him such a competent referee. No amount of disagreeing with him on the field could disrupt him or divert his attention and it was this same ability which made him an effective member of the WP Disciplinary Committee for a number of years. Fair, knowledgeable, focused and respectful, Brian never rushed to judgement and would call it as he saw it, making him an integral part of the disciplinary process.
Yet, when all is said and done, the measurement of our time on Earth is how we treated our fellow man, and here Brian was of the best. As alluded to earlier, always respectful and willing to chat irrespective of time available, Brian would engage with anyone who approached, the twinkle in his eye and the curl of the lip signalling a friendly ribbing was on its way. These ribbings were a standard in his armory, an indicator of fondness, yet never malicious.
Reading through the more than one hundred and fifty comments on False Bay’s Facebook Page, the respect and warmth felt for Brian was glaringly obvious.
“Legend” is overused in today’s meme-crazy world, but Brian Peters richly deserves that title.
Brian is survived by his dear wife, Kathy, sons Richard, Robert and James; daughters-in-law Gene, Liesl and Ingrid; and grandchildren Chase, Mackenzie, Garrett, Gabriel and Caitlyn.
Rest in peace, Brian Peters, truly one of a kind.
Below are extracts from some of these from across the Club Rugby scene.
Bye bye, Brian. You were lucky to have been involved in rugby throughout your life. That's special. Not many people have that accolade. You meant a lot to every player new and old. You were loyal and you worked really hard for the club. Your presence is going to be sorely missed. You were a great man. You deserve your rest.
Brian was one of the game’s most beautiful characters. He was a joy. The game has loss is Heaven’s gain. There will be a lot of banter up there.
Fundile “Frankie” Charlie
RIP Brian, always the gentleman and such a positive influence in so many rugby lives.
Brian was a special person who will be remembered fondly as someone who was always happy to offer support and a kind word.
Sad news, a great referee and a top all round gentleman.
Your presence will be sorely missed but what is very evident your spirit lives on in the hundreds of lives you've touched. Ludus Causa Ludi. Rest in Peace... Sir.
Rest in peace, Brian. I have missed our long chats pitch-side at False Bay for a while now. Your love for the club and the game was enormous.
Ricardo “Ricky” Jacobs
Condolences to the family. Great man and friend. RIP great man
Sad, sad news. My condolences to Brian's family. A true Bay ambassador and custodian of the Bay through not only the good time, but the hard times as well! I will miss not seeing your ever presence at the Bay, Brian.
RIP Mucker, a scrum in heaven waits
Heart of gold, always had time for everyone, full of chirps and there was never a dull moment. Will miss you, BP!
Rest in Peace, Uncle Brian
Top, top man… chats with him were always fun. RIP, sir!
Very sad news. One of the really good guys. RIP
RIP Brian. A true Bay legend, his love for the game and his club was unsurpassed. Farewell sir, you will be sorely missed and always remembered when raising a drink to toast…Up the Bay!
Went on so many trips with him as manager at WP - May the almighty provide peace and contentment in the hearts of his loved ones.
This is very sad news indeed. Really gone to soon.
Brian was a true rugby man through and through and was cut from a special cloth having served the game in numerous capacities.
May Brian Peters’s Soul Rest in Eternal Peace and light perpetual shine upon Him.
Rest Well my Brother
Deepest sympathy an condolences to the family an False Bay RFC
He was a true legend and servant of the game. I always looked forward to listening to his long stories... Kept us entertained.
Such a personable character with such a love for rugby and the Bay! Have fond memories of all tour contributions while I played at the Bay at both U21’s and Open sides. RIP Brian
What an amazing human - who gave so much to the game he loved.
Brian Peters was an integral part of the heartbeat that powered False Bay Rugby!
He not only believed in the club and contributed countless hours of his time on committees, but believed in the players and always treated them/us like family !! It’s a sad day - but also a joyous one in the fact that we got to spend so much time with such a passionate, caring and true soul ! I will miss you Brian - Gone but will never be forgotten! Time to rest now my friend. Love Donny P
What a sad way to start the day. Still coming to terms with the news. I feels like I’ve lost a father. Too many memories to share, just grateful to have had you in my life RIP my friend.
Ruddell van Dieman
What a legend! May your soul rest in peace, Mr. Peter's . The man who made me feel at home at the Bay. Always made time to have a chat before or after practice.
SO SAD to receive this news. Brian was A TRUE BAY LEGEND. A gentle soul and loyal servant of his beloved False Bay and WP and even doing duty at the gate on Saturdays where we encountered each other of late chatting about my boys.
While of course we had a fantastic relationship from the early 90's with him as a ref and I as player at a very difficult time with rugby just being unified but he was always joining in the fun and always available to advise clubs when he served on the D.C. My deepest sympathies to FBRFC ,all his family and friends.