Former Blue Bulls and Springbok player Joost van der Westhuizen died at the age of 45 on Monday afternoon.
According to the J9 Foundation, van der Westhuizen died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loved ones.
Tributes poured in from the entire sports fraternity and fans alike as soon as the news of his passing broke.
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen, 1971-2017. Condolences to the family and friends of a true Springbok hero. pic.twitter.com/ZZ7IBEBcyE
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) February 6, 2017
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen, taken by the infernal motor neurone disease at 45. Not a thorn, but a dagger in English sides. Brilliant man.
— Hugh Laurie (@hughlaurie) February 6, 2017
Joost Van Der Westhuizen. A guy I feared as an opponent, respected hugely as a player and will miss deeply as a very courageous human being.
— Jonny Wilkinson (@JonnyWilkinson) February 6, 2017
— Ulrich J van Vuuren (@UlrichJvV) February 6, 2017
So sad to hear about the passing of Joost van der Westhuisen. A great Springbok who fought such a brave fight #RIP
— JohnDykes (@JohnDykesUK) February 6, 2017
— vodacomrugby (@VodacomRugga) February 6, 2017
— IRUPA (@IRUPA) February 6, 2017
— Irish Rugby Legends (@RugbyLegendsIRE) February 6, 2017
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) February 6, 2017
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) February 6, 2017
— VKB Knights (@KnightsCricket) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/VDX1WEz3WT
— Jacques Kallis (@jacqueskallis75) February 6, 2017
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) February 6, 2017
— Morgan Piek (@MorganPiek) February 6, 2017
RIP Joost van der Westhuizen, 45.
One of the greatest players to ever grace the game of rugby & a courageous hero off the field too. pic.twitter.com/OhOrhTzL4Y
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 6, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joost’s family and friends. May the Legend rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/eCIyQ2rSXF
— SA Rugby Legends (@SARugbyLegends) February 6, 2017
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) February 6, 2017
Compiled by Moeketsi Mogotsi/Courant News