Family, friends and colleagues of Clive Rice gathered at St John’s College, Rice’s former school, to pay their last respects on Tuesday.
Rice passed away on 28 July after a battle with cancer. He was a former South African cricket captain and was an all-rounder on the field. ‘Today is a celebration of a great life and I thank you all for being here to give my brother a dignified send-off,’ said Richard Rice, as reported by the Rosebank Killarney Gazette.
His children, Mark Rice and Jackie Gilmore, recalled some of their fondest memories of their father. Gilmore spoke of how her father loved to go fishing, golfing and racing. Mark Rice recalled his father’s love for karaoke and how even though he was really bad at it, he never stopped.
After sharing some of their memories of their father, Jackie Gilmore ended by saying: ‘Everyone always asks how it is having a former cricket captain as a father. He is just like any other father; he liked playing with the dogs and being with the family. We are so proud and will miss you,’ she said.
John Rice paid tribute to his brother by remembering how they would play cricket together when they were younger. ‘His achievements were never really his topic of conversation. In retrospect, he never spoke about his achievements unless asked; I actually regret not asking him more.’
Iconic cricketers such as Jonty Rhodes, Steven Jack, Pat Symcox, Graeme Smith and Kevin Pietersen also came to pay their last respects to Rice. ‘He was my hero when I was growing up. I was really lucky to have had him as a friend and to have been part of the same team as him,’ said Jack, who had played with Rice for Transvaal.
Jonty Rhodes said: ‘The end of his career coincided with the start of my career. I was most probably one of the reasons why he didn’t make the World Cup in 1992, he was left out because he was a bit older. He moved down to Natal and finished his career there. He was very supportive of my career and an inspiration to a lot of young guys.’
Pat Symcox commented that Rice was his dear friend and never changed from the time they met. ‘I will miss him dearly.’