Henry Oswald de Villiers, fondly known as HO, has passed away at 76-years-old. The former Springbok and Western Province rugby legend is widely regarded as the sportsman who revolutionised ‘attacking from the back’.
H.O. de Villiers. one of Dale college finest and @VillagerFC finest. one of first true attacking fullbacks, he change the game. guy who love to take on the line and make havoc. some called him a "10 playing 15". people go to Newlands to watch "H.O." also mentor for Percy. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/Gf4fgDRzXM
— Oom Rugby (@Oom_Rugby) February 20, 2022
Born in Johannesburg and moving to Cape Town for his military service, de Villiers played 38 times for Western Province. In 1965 he joined the UCT RFC and was soon selected for the Ikeys first team. Shortly after, he made his senior provincial debut for Western Province.
de Villiers later became an honorary Springbok. He charged out of the gates from the start, scoring 11 points in his debut match for the Bokke against France in Durban in 1967.
His final Test for the Springboks was played in 1970 against Wales at the famous Cardiff Arms Park.
Tributes have flooded social media.
Another big tree has fallen, rest in peach Oom HO de Villiers?A true gentleman, brilliant player and true scholar of the game??
— Kobus Wiese (@4KobusWiese) February 20, 2022
Sad to learn of the passing on of H O de Villiers.
— GlobalSports News (@GlobalSportsSA) February 20, 2022
Our deepest sympathies to the friends and family of HO de Villiers.