With two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract, Heyneke Meyer retired from Leicester Tigers on this day in rugby history in 2009. The 41-year-old left with the club’s permission a month earlier to help care for his wife’s parents, who were both seriously ill, in South Africa.
"This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, in difficult circumstances, but I hope everyone can understand my reasons,” Meyer said. “Leicester Tigers is a very special club and I accepted the job there because I felt it was equipped to go on to greater success.”
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"I enjoyed my time living and working in England. The board, the staff, [the captain] Martin Corry and the players and the supporters have been fantastic towards me and my family."
Meyer started coaching in his native South Africa and drew praise for leading the Blue Bulls to the Super 14 title as well. After replacing Argentine Marcelo Loffreda, Meyer helped turn around the making the 2008 finals of the Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup.
After leaving his post, Richard Cockerill took over and helped the team to the 2009 Guinness Premier League title and the Heineken Cup final.
Meyer did not return to coaching until he was appointed the head coach of the South Africa Springboks in January 2012.
1967 - Cliff Davies, Welsh rugby union player