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Monday, December 12, 2005


Charles Futshane and Spring Rose Rugby Club

Picture: Charles Futshane
Picture Source: Evening Post

I came across this gem, written by Botha Harmans for Port Elizabeth's Evening Post on August 4, 1951. From what I've been able to discover, Botha Harmans has passed away. Mr Harmans appears to have been a member of the diocesan Council and other diocesan committees of the Port Elizabeth Diocese and a campaigner for the improvement of the rights of the disenfranchised.


A wish to spend their leisure hours profitably led two Port Elizabeth Africans, Charles ("Zet") Fushane and the late William Thube, to found the Spring Rose Rugby Club in 1907.

As the bulk of the team were domestic workers, they earned for themselves the derisive designation of "Kitchen Boys."

Most of the club practices were conducted in the moonlight on their ground situated at the open space below the Provincial Hospital, Port Elizabeth.

In 1907, the year in which the "Kitchen Boys" were promoted to the First League, the club's name was changed from Spring Grove to Spring Rose.

In 1914, under the able leadership of the late Samuel Ngene, Spring Rose qualified for the final of the John Wynne Grand Challenge Cup.

The match was staged at the Westbourne Oval, and the Roses met Wanderers, a strong Grahamstown side.

Charles Futshane remembers this hard-fought game as if it took place yesterday.

Playing on the wing, he scored the only try, giving Roses the cup.

Pleased with the game, Mr Brownlee, then proprietor of the Railway Hotel, presented the Roses with an expensive trophy - the Brownlee Trophy.

Spring Rose sportingly handed it over to the Port Elizabeth Bantu Rugby Board, and this trophy is now the principal cup for the Second League competition.

On retiring from rugby in 1937, Charlie Futshane took up first aid and in 1939 was awarded the St John's Ambulance medal.

Today he uses that knowledge to assist injured players, and he is a familiar and much respected figure in Eastern Province Bantu Rugby.

During the recent national tournament at New Brighton, Mr AZ Lamani paid Charlie a well-deserved tribute when he said that no Bantu tournament would be complete without his invaluable services.


The Spring Rose Rugby Club appears to be going strong and, indeed, in 2007 will celebrate it's 100th anniversary! Amongst it's luminaries it can count late ANC activist Surgeon Mjo who also served as the chauffeur to political stalwarts Govan Mbeki and Raymond Mhlaba. Mjo played rugby in the 50s with rugby legend Dan Qeqe. The New Brighton-based rugby club have the honour of placing a Springbok on their Honours Board as well in that they groomed Solomzi Tyibilika!
donner loves anton leonard...  

And Rasp says he left you in the stalls.....

This is a superb story though Rasputin.
An extremely interesting read- Ras

Hope posts like these will be the beginning of a balanced view towards our collective(although split apart) rugby past.
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