Former False Bay RFC legend, Mo Valentine passed away at his home last week. His influence at the Bay was immense and Mo is still revered by those at the club who knew him or watched him play.
His son Richard wrote a short eulogy.
Former False Bay and Provincial hooker, Mo Valentine passed away peacefully at the age of 88 on Monday 13 March 2017.
Born in 1928, Mo went to Observatory Boys High School where in 1945 he played for the U19A and competed in inter-schools boxing.
When he left school, Mo joined False Bay Rugby Club where he captained the Club’s U19 side for 1946 and 1947. Upon entering the senior ranks, Mo was soon selected to play hooker in the False Bay 1st XV, making the position his for the next 7 years. He proudly captained the First XV and was later joined by his brother, Roy, a talented flyhalf.
Mo’s play was epitomised by great passion, commitment and a keen sense of competition. Like all front-row forwards he viewed any match as a two-tier contest, one on the scoreboard, the other the battle between the two front rows, the latter perhaps the more important. The Bay experienced a setback indelible in the minds of those at the club at the time when they were relegated to the President’s League by a narrow vote, the leagues being restructured in 1949. Mo, true to character, stayed at the Bay even though he would have been welcomed at other clubs. He did however try a season at Hamiltons before being transferred in 1955 to Johannesburg by his employer, Old Mutual. He earned his Western Province colours during his time at Hamiltons.
In Johannesburg, Mo captained Wanderers RFC and represented Transvaal and the Quaggas. In 1964 after moving to Springs, he played for and captained a competitive Eastern Transvaal side over a period of 2 years before returning to Johannesburg and playing for Wanderers 1st XV in 1966 and 1967. He then continued to be involved as a player-coach which included winning the league with the Wanderers 4th XV in 1972 at the age of 44. He remained on the pitch, still hooking for the Wanderers Sables at the age of 53 and beyond.
A strong family man, Mo married Merlyn who passed away last year after a period of illness in which he supported her. He is survived by their children Richard, Linda and Brian.
All those who knew or wish to remember Mo and or Merlyn, are warmly invited to attend at a memorial service to celebrate Mo’s life which will be held at Noordhoek Manor at 15h00 on Friday 24 March 2017.