Johannesburg - The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has confirmed that president Kevin de Klerk has retired.
The news was announced via a press statement released by the union on Wednesday.
De Klerk, incredibly, has been involved at the union since 1968 - 50 years ago - when he was first invited to Transvaal under-20 trials.
He went on to play 107 matches for Transvaal as well as 13 Test matches for the Springboks.
Since his playing days and from 2000 to 2018, De Klerk has served as president, chairperson and director of the Golden Lions Rugby Union, the Lions Rugby Company (Pty) Ltd. and Ellis Park Stadium (Pty) Ltd. respectively.
"Thank you to all my fellow administrators staff, coaches and very importantly our wonderful players for the great privilege of being able to work with you over these past years," De Klerk said in the statement.
"It has always been an honour for me to be part of Lions Rugby and its culture. Participating as a player and administrator has given me equally great joy and pride.
"As I have stated before there is no other sport or Union that brings people together in a unique culture of togetherness, friendship and support like the Lions do.
"Now, after a long and very enriching part of my life, I would say that this journey will never be over for me. With this investment that we all have made into our Lions Rugby, one could never walk away.
"Although we will not be as present as before we will always remain part of this Union’s great heritage going forward."
Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli praised De Klerk for the work he had done at the union.
"Lions Rugby would like to thank Kevin, Winnie and family for their unselfish time spent with the Lions Family," he said.
"Your leadership and values you all shared with us over this historic period will always be remembered. May they be blessed as a family with their next chapter. We all hope to have your continuous support at Ellis Park."