The bottle opener on the key chain of Pirates Rugby Club chairman, Brad Guymer, gives it away. The Greenside club, who hosts the Lions and the EP Kingsnext Saturday, has a distinct New Zealand flavour. The 38 year old Guymer’s All Black bottle opener says it all. His late dad, Ross, was a Kiwi who toured South Africa in the 70’s where he met his wife Lee, and Guymer junior is still an avid All Black fan.
Pirates have been home to many former All Blacks. The Don (Clarke) was a long-time member of the club, Ian “Nectar” Stevens still stays around the corner, as does the Hayburner, Kevin Everleigh and Dr Spock, Laurie Knight. Pirates have always been a halfway house of international stars such as former All Blacks Murray Mexted and Alan Sutherland as well as England flanker Peter Winterbottom.
Guymer remembers listening to the All Black games on radio with his dad and attending the hinges (a NZ braai) with a very big New Zealand fraternity in Fouways. His first ever live game was between the New Zealand Cavaliers and Transvaal at Ellis Park and his first test was in ’92 with South Africa’s readmission against the All Blacks in Johannesburg. Guymer spent a season playing rugby for the Takapuna club in the North Harbour area in Auckland where he was greeted by former Sevens great Eric Rush.
Although such a passionate All Black fan he was ironically nicknamed “Africa” during his year-long stay in the land of the Long White Cloud. Guymer did his apprenticeship under the guidance of mentors such as Mark Marais, Mike Schwartz and various other old boys and has been at the helm of club for more than two years now. He attended the Green Park nursery school right next to the Pirates grounds as a toddler and went on to go to Greenside Primary and High. His wife, Lauren, a former national swimmer, is a teacher at the nursery now.
Family is the biggest thing in Guymer’s life and when not at the club, where he runs his High Performance Rugby College, he spends time with his wife Lauren and his kids, 10 year old Rachel and three year old Joe. Rachel takes after her mother and is a talented swimmer while Joe often performs his version of the haka for his dad. Being successful is his biggest drive, be it as a father, a husband, a friend, a businessman or chairman.
Once a Pirate obviously always a Pirate (as in Guymer’s case) but it won’t be a surprise if one day he takes up a position at the Golden Lions. And the match next Saturday is ‘n pretty good dress rehearsal for Guymer to impress the high brass.