With the passing of South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, late on Thursday night, the tributes poured in on Friday morning from all over the world, sports personalities included.
He was 95 years old, and had spent the past few months in bed-ridden seclusion following serious lung infections and other age-related issues. He spend 27 years in prison during Apartheid, and was president between 1994 and 1999.
Premier all-rounder Jacques Kallis tweeted: "RIP Nelson Mandela. Sad day for South Africa and the World."
Former SA spinner and now Cobras coach Paul Adams wrote: "We could never repay you for your dedicated, passionate fight against injustice. We enjoy the liberties you gave your freedom for. Your legacy will never die. Thank you and May God bless your soul."
Former batsman Herschelle Gibbs wrote of his own experiences with Madiba: "Those who had the honour and privilege to meet madiba a few times, will know what it was like to be in his company!! #nowordscandescribeit"
Proteas batsman JP Duminy tweeted: "To a man who has changed the mindset of a nation, May we inspire and motivate as u hav. You will always b remembered #RIPNelsonMandela"
Proteas middle order batsman David Miller wrote: "Thank you Tata Mandela for all you have done for our country.You will live on in our hearts forever. #rainbownation #legend #leader"
SA fast bowler Vernon Philander paid tribute thusly: "RIP to a Legend. Left a legacy which is almost impossible to be repeated. #Mandela #truelegend"
SA batsman Colin Ingram added: "Thank u Madiba for putting our nation on the right path,may we rem ur lessons everyday. Thank u for our special and spirited nation. #RIPMadiba"
Proteas T20 skipper and middle order bat Faf du Plessis wrote: "Farewell Tata.You inspired a nation and taught us the meaning of forgiveness.#RIPMadiba"
Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince wished peace upon his hero, writing: "Tata Madiba, you have struggled and fought and inspired us all to do the same. Now may your soul R.I.P. God bless!!! #IconicLeader"
Commentator and former SA skipper Shaun Pollock posted a picture of himself and Madiba, adding: "Rest in peace Mr Mandela and thank you!!!"
Former South Africa batsman Andrew Hall wrote: "RIP Madiba.The Father that brought a nation together! Built bridges through kindness and forgiveness! You will forever be remembered."
Chennai Super Kings and Proteas paceman Chris Morris tweeted: "What a sad day in the world! May the hero of our nation rest in peace. #Mandela"
South African golfer and multiple major winner Ernie Els tweeted: "President Mandela was without a doubt the most special human being that I ever met. He was our President and the man who changed all our lives. He was an unbelievable guy, the father of our country."
Former South Africa scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen, himself battling illness, wrote: "A sad day for our country. Rest in Peace Madiba. Condolences to his family and friends."
Springbok wing Bryan Habana tweeted: "R.I.P Tata Madiba. Thank you for the inspiration and hope. May your legacy live on forever. #forevergrateful #proudlySouthAfrican."
Everton and South Africa footballer Steven Pienaar sent an emotional message, writing: "In tears, the Father Of the Great Nation has passed on. R.I.P TATA MADIBA."
South Africa hockey player and Olympian Rhett Halkett said: "How do you truly pay tribute to a man who changed the world? The greatest leader of all time. #madibamagic"
Many Players, from Rory Kleinveldt to Luke Wright, just posted a simple, "RIP Nelson Mandela!"
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan wrote: "A Great man has left us today... #RIPNelsonMandela", while Matthew Hoggard added: "Rip Nelson Mandela ! A great man"
England batsman Jonny Bairstow wrote: "RIP Nelson Mandela, a man who changed and inspired part of the world we now live in! He stood by what he believed in! Special! #RestInPeace"
Australia fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath said: "The world has lost a great man. RIP Nelson Mandela."
Prolific tweeter and former Aussie batsman Matthew Hayden wrote: "Very sad day as we say our goodbyes to the warrior for human rights and peace Nelson Mandela 1918-2013. May you RIP"
Australia top order batsman Usman Khawaja noted the minute's silence during the second Ashes Test, saying: "Nice to see everyone at Adelaide oval this morning paying their respects to Nelson Mandela."
Indian commentator and pundit Harsha Bhogle opined: "one of the greatest the world has seen and the provider of reason which south africa so needed. nelson mandela made the world better."
Actor, writer and activist Stephen Fry lamented: "Oh no. Just heard. Madiba dead. One of the greatest ever to share the planet with us. #mandela"
Former England and Liverpool footballer Michael Owen said: "RIP Nelson Mandela. A tweet could never do justice to the greatness of the man."
Newcastle and Liverpool football legend Terry McDermott added perspective, writing: "Footballers aren't Hero's...men like Nelson Mandela are!!! RIP to a great man who will never be forgotten."
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wrote of his personal experience with Madiba: "One of the most special moments in my life was meeting the great Madiba. God rest your soul. I will miss you x"
Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa tweeted: "RIP for Nelson Mandela ,God rest your soul in peace !!! Greatest human being."
Nicky Hayden, 2006 MotoGP World Champ, wrote: "Don't know as much about Nelson Mandela as I prob should, but any man 2 win the Nobel peace prize and do as much good as him has my respect RIP"
Former F1 driver Martin Brundle added: "RIP Nelson Mandela. What an inspiration that man was, and remains."
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