Family, friends gather after Linee's passing

Linee's wife Diana says she's found peace in her husband's passing as he suffered for too long.

Former Western Province centre Tinus Linee. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Friends, family and former Springboks have gathered at the home of former Western Province rugby player Tinus Linee in Paarl to pay their respects.

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

Speaking to Eyewitness News , the former Western Province centre's wife, Diana, said she's found peace in her husband's passing, as he suffered for too long.

She adds Linee died a happy man after witnessing his beloved Western Province side win the Currie Cup last weekend.

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.

Former Western Province centre Tinus Linee was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in March 2013. In this 2013 interview with EWN, his wife Diana describes how the illness has affected their lives.

CONDOLENCES

Earlier today, Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula passed his condolences to the Linee family.

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."

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

Linee, who was first diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2013, worked as a Western Province Rugby Football Union 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.