A flying Springbok in more ways than one – ‘Mannetjies’ Roux

There’s no need to introduce Francois Du Toit “Mannetjies” Roux , the legendary Springbok rugby “flyer”, but did you know he was also a “flyer” of a real kind and served his country as a South African Air Force pilot?

Born in Victoria West and educated at Paarl Boys High, he went to Stellenbosch University; an institution known for serving as a conveyor belt of future Springboks. Later on he joined the South African Air Force in Pretoria where he served as a flight instructor on the iconic North American ‘Harvard’ trainer (seen in the background of the featured image).

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As a Springbok he was capped 27 times; 6 times at wing and 21 times at centre, scoring 6 tries.

Controversy  follow him though, with Roux achieving notoriety on the demo-ridden 1969/70 Springbok tour of the United Kingdom for kicking one protester in the backside and hurling the ball at another.

He’s retired now and he and his wife Charlotte run a shop and museum called Victoria Trading Post in his hometown of Victoria West.

Here is Mannetjies in service. Far right, Gen P.H. Grobbelaar congratulates Sgt Frik du Preez from the SAAF, Lt Mannetjie Roux and FC Hannes Botha from 1 Parachute Battalion with their inclusion into the Springbok team against the British Lions in 1962.


“Source: Wikipedia and Paal Boys High