The Bulls and SA Rugby have offered condolences and paid tribute to Nicolaas Hendrik (Boet) Fick, more affectionately known as ‘Oom Boet Fick’, after he passed away.
Fick, a former member of the SA Rugby executive committee and a former president of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, passed away on Monday at the age of 86.
The charismatic, humble and soft-spoken Fick also served as president of the BBRU from 2005 to 2010, having deputised before that from 2002.
He was then elected to the SA Rugby executive serving for a period of eight years before stepping down in 2018.
“Oom Boet was the absolute definition of a ‘rugby servant’ loving, respecting and serving the game at every opportunity he got,” a statement from the Bulls read.
Willem Strauss, current BBRU president, shared a few fond memories: “Oom Boet will go down in history as an unsung hero at Loftus, doing the hard yards behind the scenes to make sure our beautiful game continued to grow and flourish.
“He always had a few kind words and advice for me in my role and those around him in our system. I remember him joking on the day I accepted the role as president, saying that he won all the major cups during his term, and now I needed to go forward and do the same.
“We knew each other for a little over 30 years, from the days of Far North and even South-Eastern Transvaal Rugby. In that time, he shared many valuable lessons not only in sport administration but also personally. He will be sorely missed by all at Loftus. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
“His passion for the team, badge and Loftus ran deep … and we have no doubt that his legacy will live on in what we do.”
Mark Alexander, the president of SA Rugby, also paid tribute to Fick, who first became involved in rugby administration through the club ranks in the erstwhile Far North province (Limpopo Blue Bulls) from the early 1970s, before he was elected as president of the Blue Bulls in 2002.
He served the union in that capacity for eight years, until 2010, when he was first elected to the SA Rugby executive.
He served an initial term of four years and was re-elected in 2014, until he stepped down from the role in 2018.
“Oom Boet was a voice of reason for many years on the executive and someone who dedicated a big part of his life to the game we all love,” said Alexander.
“As president at the Bulls, he was at the helm when they won the Vodacom Super Rugby trophy three times, as well as a number of Carling Currie Cup titles.
“Oom Boet had a calm and friendly demeanour and a warm personality, but when we got down to business he always ensured we sought solutions to problems in a very unassuming manner.
“His experience of sport administration means he also served on a number of other SA Rugby committees and everyone knew he was always willing and able to assist in any way needed.
“Oom Boet was a true servant of the game. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Janet, children Magda, Hein, Anel and Klein Hein, other family, friends and loved ones in this very sad time. May you find solace in the wonderful memories of Oom Boet.”