Vivienne Player's death was announced on Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer
Vivenne Player has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Gary and Vivienne Player were married for 64 years, and they have six children together as well as 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The pair first met in their teens, with Gary asking Vivenne to marry him at the age of 15.
Gary has regularly attributed his success to her, with the pair balancing traveling with their six children, a nanny and a tutor during his playing career.
Vivienne was the brother of former South African PGA Tour winner Bobby Verwey.
A fine player herself, she once recorded two holes-in-one in a single round during a tournament in Johannesburg.
Gary and Vivienne have raised more than $62 million for underprivileged children’s education globally thanks to charitable efforts including The Player Foundation and the Gary Player Invitational series tournaments.
In January, Gary tweeted how Vivienne is his rock on their 64th wedding anniversary after marrying on 19th January 1957.
“Today is our 64th wedding anniversary. Vivienne has been my rock and helped me achieve success beyond my wildest dreams. It’s been a difficult year seeing her battle cancer but it’s made me realize what a special life we’ve shared. A wife like no other. I love you, Viv,” he wrote.
A post from Gary in August 2020:
In an interview published on Tennis World, Gary said of the time he first saw Vivienne when he was 14-year-old: “That day, I told my brother she is the girl I’m going to marry. He thought I was crazy!”
“She is the best wife that any man could ever wish for. You know, no other woman would have stayed with me. I spent more time on airplanes than any one in this planet. And she stayed home with the kids,” Player continued.
“Sometimes she could join me in America, but it took 40 hours in those days, because the plane had to stop four times. And there weren’t beds on the plane, or television to keep you entertained.
“But these are the type of things Vivienne accepted so that I could play golf. And in those days, they didn’t have the big purses of today. Sometimes life was a struggle for the Player-family. Although things became more comfortable over the years, some things never changed.”
Tributes to Vivenne and the Player family have poured in across social media: