PRIOR to the 2007 RFU World Cup I wrote a letter castigating several political/rugby administrators. They were bringing nasty racial politics into an area that should be free of it and they were doing so prior to a World Cup that we had every chance of winning.
Two of the people I disapproved of at the time were Cheeky and Luke Watson. I believed their actions at the time were not well thought out and were bringing disunity to the team.
That was five years ago and times have changed. So too have some people.
Don Calder wrote a letter in which he spoke extremely negatively of Cheeky, EP Rugby and the stadium ("Bay being driven into the ground", October 30).
I believe Port Elizabeth and all who live here should be proud to be associated with Cheeky Watson, Anele Pamba, the management and playing team.
Look at what they have accomplished! To achieve something as great as what they have achieved is not easy.
It takes great personal sacrifice, time away from your home, family and children. It also means you first have to have a vision of where you want to get to.
To get there is not easy and there will always be many setbacks. It is true leaders who persevere through losses such as last year to the Pumas or the Cheetahs two weeks ago.
It takes patience and determination to deal with Saru and especially Sanzar, to fight for something that you believe should be a reality. All of this without funding, without a team to field, without being given a snowball's chance in summer and with so many people criticising you, when all you wish to do is actually something intrinsically good and to the greater good of all!
All I can see are positives coming from the upcoming season. Other than the fact that the stadium is the only profitable stadium in the country (please take note of that, Mr Calder), for which stadium management should be proud, the fact that Port Elizabeth will benefit from millions' worth of PR and international exposure, is priceless. This is especially so now that the metro has no money to fund NMBT.
To the Kings, good luck. I don't care if you don't win a match, the fact that you are playing is better than not having played.
To Cheeky, Anele and your management team, you have already done more than anybody else in the history of EP Rugby. I am sure that greats like Dan Qeqe would be proud.
You have done yourself, your families and the city proud! Now Mr Calder and others who wish to cast more stones, show us what you have done for the city?
At least Cheeky and the team are trying. Give them all our support.
Edward Gutsche, Port Elizabeth