Pirates say goodbye to Wayne Sibanda after rugby death

Wayne Sibanda scoreboard22 April - Instead of the customary minute’s silence, Pirates rugby players this weekend gave a full minute’s applause in honour and memory of their 21-year-old fullback Wayne Sibanda during their league matches against Randfontein.

The day’s fixtures were dedicated to Sibanda who passed away last Tuesday. The scoreboard throughout the day het a Pirates jersey, with his number 15 on the back, next to the teams' scores. His teammates in the 2nd team did Wayne proud with an 87-0 victory against Randfontein.

A moving funeral service, attended by more than 400 people, was held at Pirates on a sad day in the club’s 130th year.

The young fullback was injured in his first match for the club’s second team in their league fixture against the NWU-Pukke in Potchefstroom on the Saturday.

Upon his return to Johannesburg after the match, Sibanda was admitted to the Helen Joseph Hospital for medical care.

During the early hours of (last) Sunday morning, his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on a ventilator to assist his breathing and to prepare him for brain surgery to relieve a brain haemorrhage. Surgery was cancelled after he was declared brain dead. His family were notified and he passed away at 05h00 on Tuesday.

♦ Pirates rugby chairman Brad Guymer said there had been generous support for the Sibanda family but that more donations would be appreciated. Anyone wishing to contribute can call Non Welsford at Pirates on (011) 646 5025.

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