Rugby fraternity mourns the death of Tinus Linee

The former WP centre passed away this morning after a long battle with Motor Neuron Disease.

Former WP centre Thinus Linee during an interview with EWN at his Paarl home in 2013. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula passed his condolences to the Linee family after receiving news of former Western Province centre Tinus Linee's death.

Linee (45) passed away early this morning after a long battle with Motor Neuron Disease (MND).

In a statement the department said, "We wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Linee family, as well as the rugby and sporting fraternity."

Born in Paarl, Linee represented Western Province and Super Rugby side, the Stormers.

Though not capped as a Springbok, he played for the Boks in a tour match against Australia in July 1993.

Western Province president Thelo Wakefield says Linee was always brave and dignified.

"We are saddened by the fact that it went so quickly. But we are also very glad that he is relieved of this disease and that he could now rest in peace."

Western Province Rugby also released a statement earlier, extending its condolences to the Linee family

It's described the 45-year-old as a loyal rugby player, with a no-nonsense approach to defence, as displayed by his bone-crunching tackles.

Meanwhile, former Springbok, Chester Williams, says he'll sorely miss the late rugby player.

Williams says he was planning on visiting Linee today.

"I'm sad to hear about my friend Tinus. I just got back from Brazil and was going to visit him this morning and that's when I got the news that he'd passed away"

Linee, who was first diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2013, worked as a Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) development officer after hanging up his playing boots, whilst he was also a member of the Western Province Vodacom Cup management team in 2008.

He is survived by his wife Diana, her two sons and a daughter of his own from his first marriage.

TWITTER REACTION:

Sad day for Rugby in SA. Just received news of the passing of a rugby legend and MND Warrior Tinus Linee RIP my friend

#J9Foundation

Very sad to hear Tinus Linee passed away this morning from MND. Rest in peace my friend my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

So sad to wake up with the news of The passing of Thinus Linee #RIPLegend prayers go out to his wife and Family!!

My condolences to the Linee family and friends. May God comfort you during this difficult time. RIP Tinus