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Home / Ode to Phillipus Auctavius ‘Thai’ Isaacs 1973–2024

Ode to Phillipus Auctavius ‘Thai’ Isaacs 1973–2024

2024-03-01  Carlos Kambaekwa

Ode to Phillipus Auctavius ‘Thai’ Isaacs 1973–2024

WHEN the late Freddy Mercury, the legendary lead singer of British hot band Queen, penned the soul-soothing lyrics of the hit song ‘Another One Bites the Dust,’ the Zanzibar-born multi-talented songwriter, composer, arranger, pianist, and phenomenal vocalist must have had continental compatriots Reho Falcon Sports Club in mind. 

Truly speaking, the black and red strip outfit seems to be saddled with demons, losing some of their finest talent to death at an alarming pace. Just as the usually easygoing Rehobothers were starting to come to terms with the sad loss of promising young player Marco Beukes, who tragically exited the game of life three months ago at the tender age of 22, another tragedy has hit the close-knit Reho Falcon family. The untimely departure of club stalwart Phillipus Auctavius Isaacs, famously known as ‘Thai’, among his vast circle of friends, has sent shock waves through the rugby-loving community of Rehoboth and the rest of the country. 

As if this was not enough, the Namibian Premiership old-timers also lost prominent member Esthie van Wyk as well as diehard supporter Chrizelda Bock. 

May their souls rest in collective ancestral power. Well, as has become  customary practice, New Era Sport is committed to paying dignified tributes to sports personalities, please join us as we guide you, our esteemed readers, through the sporting and overall life journey of ‘Bro Thai’.


A PROUD product of the revered Dr Lemmer High School in his native Rehoboth, in the heart of the mountainous, semi-desert Hardap region, Thai Isaacs was introduced to the game of the oval ball at an early age. Apart from representing the school’s rugby fifteen, the strongly built hooker played league rugby for local team Taurus Rugby Club alongside boyhood buddy Gerald Loubser.

The pair met as classmates in 1990 while in Grade 10. The newly found buddies hit the ground running and became inseparable ever since sharing a room in the hostel until they left school. Thai was very competitive and started playing rugby for the school’s first team, demonstrating talent way above his tender age.

Two years down the line, both boys found themselves playing in the country’s top-flight rugby league, rubbing shoulders with the very best on offer. The pair joined local outfit Taurus Rugby Fifteen and established themselves as vital cogs in the starting fifteen.

Thai was selected for the prestigious Craven Week team to represent Namibia in the South African Inter-Provincial August Youth Tournament in 1992. Soon afterwards, he teamed up with teammates Ronaldo Pedro, Lorenzo Plaath, Gerald Diergaardt, and his eternal buddy Loubser to form Reho Falcon Rugby Club under the stewardship of Gerald Benade, Christo Alexander and Hakkie Louw.

Interestingly, the name Falcon was adopted from a Zimbabwe rugby team in Zimbabwe during a school rugby tour to the southern African country in 1992. 

“We played against a school rugby team going by the name of Falcons, which played very hard rugby and was extremely keen on running with the ball,” recalled Loubser.

At their first official meeting, one of the enthusiastic boys proposed the name Falcons. The name was unanimously given the nod, but it was resolved to drop the ‘s’ at the end of Falcons, simply because the rugby mad boys saw themselves as units under one Falcon and not the other way around.

An amazingly loyal and trusted soldier of Falcon, Thai never played for any other club during his illustrious playing career and was, by a decent stretch, the most committed member of the club over an astonishing career spanning over two solid decades. He outlived many of his peers and will remain a club legend for many years to come.

Thai was finally rewarded for his rugby prowess with a much-deserved call-up to the national senior team that made its debut in the 1999 International Rugby Union (IRB) World Cup in France. 

The super energetic retired hooker boasts a filthy rich resume that includes a pair of gold medals courtesy of the National Premier League titles in 2007 and 2010, respectively, as well as proudly representing his motherland on five occasions internationally, which is certainly no mean feat.

A truly loyal servant of the game, Thai switched his attention to coaching upon retirement from playing competitive rugby. He successfully mentored Reho Falcon’s rugby club occupying the plum portfolio of head coach.

Sadly, the retired hooker-cum-coach has taken a bow from life after losing a marathon battle with cancer. 

Thai is survived by childhood sweetheart Nicolene Isaacs, who bore him three bubbling Pikininis a pair of beautiful daughters, and a son. 

Regrettably, the latter predeceased his old man during his elementary lodging on mother planet. May their soul rest easy.

2024-03-01  Carlos Kambaekwa

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