Home Sport One hundred, not out – Griquas celebrate stalwart George Whitehead’s ton

One hundred, not out – Griquas celebrate stalwart George Whitehead’s ton

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Griqua stalwart George Whitehead, who celebrated his birthday last week also was also due to run out for his 100th game for the Peacock Blues yesterday – a testament to his unwavering dedication and loyalty to the club.

Griquas No.10 George Whitehead is now one of the true Griqua veterans. File Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

In the run up to the Suzuki Griquas SA Cup opener against the Leopards, there was a momentous milestone being celebrated in the camp.

Griqua stalwart George Whitehead, who celebrated his birthday last week also was also due to run out for his 100th game for the Peacock Blues – a testament to his unwavering dedication and loyalty to the club.

“George deserves to start his 100th match,” head coach Peter Bergh remarked at a press conference earlier this week. “What he has done for this union is great, and the loyalty that he’s shown over the years to Griquas Rugby is an example for every player at Griquas.”

Bergh’s words encapsulated the admiration and respect felt by the entire team towards Whitehead – a player whose commitment, professionalism, and tireless work ethic served as an inspiration to all.

“He’s disciplined, he’s professional, and he works incredibly hard,” Bergh said, his admiration evident. “His detail is always spot on. And every player here, young or old, can learn from him.”

The DFA spoke to Whitehead in the run-up to yesterday’s match to ask him about this milestone.

“I am very thankful for this milestone I have achieved with the Griquas Rugby Union,” Whitehead remarked, reflecting on his journey with the team. “I always put the team first, and it is a massive privilege for me to be chosen to play on Thursday.”

Recalling his debut for Griquas in 2017 against the Sharks in Durban, Whitehead reminisced, “We won that match 28-0 in the Super Sport Challenge. It’s a moment etched vividly in my memory.”

Approaching his centenary match with characteristic humility, Whitehead emphasised, “To be honest, I am tackling this match the same as I would any other match, but I realise that it is a great privilege to be able to play 100 games for this team.”

Acknowledging the high standards set by the Griquas, he stressed the importance of team ethos, saying, “My focus is to give my best on the field during practice and games all the time.”

And while reflecting on standout moments in his career, Whitehead highlighted the Currie Cup final in 2022 and several other significant matches in that campaign.

Looking ahead, Whitehead expressed his desire to instil a sense of pride and respect for Griqua rugby among future players. “What I want to leave behind one day is that every Griqua player should realise what an amazing privilege it is to be able to put on the Griquas jersey,” he told the DFA. And as far as ongoing achievements with Griquas, he said simply, “There are many more I want to have with Griquas Rugby.”

Whitehead also emphasised the importance of staying grounded and focused on the present in a message to aspiring players: “Every day and every practice is important,” he said, urging young talents to remain dedicated to their craft.

Now, with Whitehead having etched his name into the annals of Griquas Rugby history, his journey stands as a testament to perseverance, dedication to teamwork, and an unwavering commitment to the game.

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