It was with immense sadness that the South African Hockey Community have learnt of the passing of Andre “Bubbles” le Roux. Bubbles love for the game of hockey was immense and you will find it difficult to find a person who didn’t enjoy the company of a much-loved figure in our country.

Bubbles was involved in hockey since 1976 when he started his playing days at Milnerton Hockey Club and was a massive part of the SANDF Hockey, in playing, coaching and managing over the years. He is fondly remembered at Edgemead where he reinvigorated the program when he joined as coach in 2005, a school he remained involved with ever since.

Bubbles also was the team manager for SA U21 Men, multiple provincial teams and of course the SA Hockey Men in 2004 alongside Paul Revington as head coach.        

“Bubbles was a dedicated servant of the game and an absolute professional. His love for hockey kept his life forever intertwined with the game throughout his life.  On behalf of the South African Hockey Association we would like to send our condolences to the le Roux family, the Western Province hockey community and to the hockey family at large.” Marissa Langeni, CEO of South African Hockey Association.

 Former National Coach – Paul Revington

It is with great sadness that I am writing this message having received the news on Monday evening of Bubbles’ sudden passing. Bubbles was a very good person to everyone he met. He was larger than life, always making people laugh and he balanced this with a very caring nature that made him easy to talk to on a personal level. I was lucky enough to meet Bubbles in 1992 when I did a year of military conscription in the SADF, which primarily involved playing hockey and cricket!

Bubbles did an amazing job organising a motley crew of makeshift “soldiers” including the likes of Murray Anderson, Roger Hickman, Craig Verdal-Austin and David Gibbon becoming a critical father figure to all of us (especially when it came to getting leave!). We shared wonderful memories together as a Team and I think the highlight for Bubbles was our SADF tournament in Potchefstroom where he played in goal.  My bond with Bubbles grew as we entered a strong and trusting coach and Team manager partnership with the WP senior men and SA U21 men in the early 2000’s. Bubbles was rewarded for his efforts by being appointed as SA senior team Manager for a series in January 2004.

Every time I saw Bubbles around Hartleyvale we would laugh about memories such as his love for Kylie Minogue, his need for a foot massage after a long day and his tendency to eat the players jelly babies on game day! All the players felt his genuine love for them, and he played a critical role in creating harmony and trust within our teams. Bubbles then entered the world of provincial hockey administration and led WP Hockey as President for several years with great success. Nothing was ever too challenging for Bubbles and he was always prepared to listen and help coaches, players and administrators achieve their objectives whether at club, provincial or national level through his position of President of WP Hockey.

Through his early commitment to “serve” as a Warrant Officer in the SA Navy he backed this up through his immense service to the game of hockey and the community in general. Bubbles will be sorely missed. Hartleyvale will never be the same without Bubbles presence but his spirit will remain embedded forever. Our sincere condolences go out to Caryl-Ann, Raoul, Marcé and Gérard – thank you for sharing your Husband and Dad with all of us for so many years.

Western Province Hockey Vice President – Charlene Fourie

It was with much sadness that I heard of the passing of a dear and valued friend. We travelled a long road of hockey together, dating back to 1982.

Since I have known Bubbles, he was very passionate about hockey. He filled every sphere, being a player, coach, umpire, manager of our national team and committee member.

We spent many hours together running tournaments and he always managed to amuse us to no end with his jokes and anecdotes. He was an absolute perfectionist when it came to pronouncing the names correctly of any international players participating in matches when he was the announcer.

On the field he represented the Navy and Milnerton Hockey Club as a GK and was involved with coaching at Milnerton Hockey Club and Edgemead High School.

He was a representative on the MHC committee and eventually had the honourable position of being President of Western Province Hockey Union.

He will be sorely missed.