FILE - Gary Player International team captain and wife Vivienne applaud during the round 1 foursome matches of The Presidents Cup on September 27, 2007. Photo: S.Greenwood/Getty Images via AFP
FILE - Gary Player International team captain and wife Vivienne applaud during the round 1 foursome matches of The Presidents Cup on September 27, 2007. Photo: S.Greenwood/Getty Images via AFP

Gary Player’s wife Vivienne dies after battle with cancer

By Michael Sherman Time of article published Aug 18, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - The wife of Gary Player, Vivienne Player has died after battling pancreatic cancer.

Vivienne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June last year, and had been making progress in her recovery.

In August last year, Player gave an update on Vivienne’s condition: "After 63 years of marriage, Vivienne and I have been through it all. Her cancer diagnosis was shocking, but thankfully her results at Issels Medical Center have been incredible. Her recovery isn’t over, but she’s well on her way. Thank you to everyone who has shown support," he wrote on Twitter.

The couple married in 1957, and celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in January this year.

Childhood sweethearts, Player first asked Vivienne to marry him when he was 15.

Player has often attributed much of his success on the course - he was won 167 tournaments worldwide including nine majors - to the support he received from his wife.

Together the couple had six children - Jennifer, Marc, Wayne, Michele, Theresa, and Amanda. They have 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

During the early part of Player’s career, he would travel to tournaments with Vivienne their six children, a nanny and a tutor.

Player’s brother, Ian Player died in 2014. Ian was a South African environmental activist and conservationist who played a key role in saving the white rhino from extinction.

Player is South Africa’s most successful sportsman ever, and was known as a pioneer of physical fitness training routines for professional golfers. He is known as Mr Fitness, as well as the Black Knight. -

African News Agency (ANA)

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