Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White has paid tribute to a friend, loyal supporter of the herd and golfing legend, John Bland who passed away on Tuesday, 09 May 2023. The 77-year-old golfing legend passed on surrounded by his family at a hospital in the Western Cape.
Born on the 22nd of September in 1945, in Johannesburg, Bland turned pro in 1969 and would go on to become a celebrated golfing figure who would amass 36 career titles which included the 1977 South African PGA Championship, the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit alongside two European Tour victories. In his later years, Bland bagged five PGA Tour Champions’ wins and three Legends Tour victories in a career that spun 40 years.
White paid his respects to Bland saying that he was a remarkable man who he considered a close friend of his and one of the biggest supporters of the Vodacom Bulls.
“This has come as a sudden shock. He was a great friend of mine and one of the most loyal Bulls supporters ever. He was a constant figure of support in our corner whom we will sorely miss,”
“He was a gentleman, kind-hearted, a fierce competitor that had the respect of his peers and a champion that had time for everyone. He was a great ambassador for the sport of golf and an even better ambassador of South African sport. He lived to inspire, dedicating his career to elevating golf across South Africa. May the lessons that he leaves us with, find a home in our hearts forever,”
“On behalf of all of us at Loftus and from the rugby fraternity, I wish to convey my utmost sincer condolences to his wife, Sonja and their kids. He was a remarkable man and we share this loss with you all.”
Bland is survived by his wife and three children, John-Mark, Bonney and Candice. He also has three grandchildren. May his soul rest in eternal peace.