In 1998 we (colleagues from Madge Networks) toured London for the Springbok match against England. We arrived in London and after booking into the hotel discovered we had left our South African flag at home. The local shops did not stock any South African flags so we hit on the idea we would go and borrow one from the High Commission. I phoned my sis and asked her to arrange a flag for me. I was joking of course but she took me seriously and said I must hang on a bit, she would phone me back. A few minutes later, I received a phone call to inform me that the reception at South Africa house had a flag waiting for me.
We jumped onto the tube to South Africa House and walked into the foyer. True as nuts, there was a South African flag there for me. The guy who gave it to me said I must please bring it back again when I was done because it was the High Commission's ceremonial flag. He even made me sign a register and double check the serial number on the flag.
Off we went back to the hotel that evening as the game was the next day, At the hotel we realised that a ceremonial flag is moerse big. It is larger than a king sized bedspread. We scratched our heads about a flagpole.but in the corner of the hotel's dinning room was one of these long window latch poles which we promptly commandeered.
Sorted we went to the game at Twickenham the next day and sank a few pints in a pub close to the stadium while waiting for the game to start. In the pub we met up with a few Irish mates who taught us a neat song which we sang with gusto. The Poms eyed us with suspicion.
At the game we launched our flag. There were two of us holding it and in front of us was a poephol with an old apartheid era flag who stood no chance. It was one of my famous television appearances at Rugby games, the other being in France at Lyon and then a rather slurred interview on Irish TV.
That game will forever be etched in my brain as butter fingers Stephan Terblanche dropped the ball in front of us and Jeremy Guscott pounced on it to score the winning try. We slouched back to the pub to drown our sorrows and took the ribbing from the locals who reminded us about the rendition of "Sweet Chariot." Here is the version: