On November 15, Chilli club member, leader, and all-round inspiration Rob Lloyd passed away after a five-and-a-half year battle with cancer.
Rob joined Chilli in 2011, and the impact that he had on the club during his five years with us will forever be felt. His loss leaves a tremendous hole in the hearts of many.
During Rob’s brave fight, his wife Nicky too proved an inspiration to us. Nicky and the Lloyd family will always have a special place at Chilli. As we remember Rob fondly we think of them and send much love and strength.
The number 23 jersey which Rob wore will be retired in his honour.
Rob touched the lives of many of his team-mates in different ways, and the members of Chilli have paid tribute to him.
You were one of the most incredible people I ever knew. You had depth and lightness. You had grace and charm. You were selfless and good.
I thought I was a hero scheduling business travel commitments for Tuesdays so I could play league on Monday nights. You showed me what real heroes did when you scheduled chemotherapy for Tuesdays so you were at your strongest for Monday league.
I ran cuts hard enough to beat my marker. You ran them as though each was going to be your last.
I took joy out of playing to win. You considered winning playing with joy.
Rob, you will be missed by your Chilli family, who all all held you like a treasure in their hearts. You haven’t been stalled out you’ve thrown a huck into the next world.
RIP brave friend
A brief tribute to a great person.
I find it incredible that, even though Rob battled with cancer for almost as long as I knew him, my overarching impression of him is as a smiling, positive friend. I knew him as a teammate during the early days of UCT ultimate and as a teammate and prominent personality at Chilli. Rob was one of the most loyal, supportive and courageous people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Two personal highlights for me were his sermon at Andy and Julian’s wedding and his quip during the Chilli shaveathon about how he was now the only person left on the team with any hair.
Rob, you’ll be sorely missed and the world is a poorer place without you. I’m glad to have shared a field with you.
Rob and I became friends a few years ago, but the foundations of our deeper friendship were cast at the start of 2014, while training together at Chilli. I used to catch the train from the city to Rondebosch after work, where Rob would pick me up and we’d drive through to Pinelands and the Scoville Oval together. Afterwards, he’d drive me all the way home to Muizenberg, which I’m sure was only slightly inconvenient for him, as he and Nicky were living in Lakeside at the time. Every week I looked forward to our car conversations.
Rob had a way with words, and with silences – thoughtful silences where it seemed he was carefully considering his replies, and not just saying words for the sake of speaking. He challenged me often, in his kind, gentle and yet firm way. Here was a guy younger than me, filled with so much wisdom, insight and humble confidence. Our conversations were sometimes light, and sometimes heavy, discussing our take on world events, relationships with friends, family and partners, as well as sport and travel, and he had such a beautifully subtle way of bringing his beliefs about God into many of his view points.
We spoke candidly about religion, God and beliefs, and I asked him challenging questions too… I think that’s something that really drew us to one another – we were always pretty frank with each other on a range of topics, and we spoke openly about things I wouldn’t necessarily speak to others about. I felt that comfortable with him – he was loyal, he didn’t judge, and was completely trustworthy.
After a few weeks of sharing rides, one evening after training Rob revealed to me that his most recent routine scan had shown spots in various places, and it looked as though the cancer had returned. For much of that journey we sat in silence – we didn’t need to speak; I think we just knew the love, support and respect we had for each other.
Rob is one of the toughest, most resolute, deep thinking, stubborn, kind and wise men I’ve ever known, or will ever know. He was my friend, my mentor, my team mate, my advisor, and confidant, and I will never forget the profound impact he had on me during our all-too-brief friendship.
You can now rest peacefully, Robby – you’ve fought with everything you had; you’ve also influenced more people in your 33 years than most people do in 80. I love you and miss you brother.
Rob was truly a man of honour and integrity. He played hard, but he never let the heat of a competitive game overwhelm him, and he always treated others (team-mates and opposition alike) with respect. His strength of character and positive attitude, even in the face of immense hardship, were truly remarkable and he was an inspiration to those of us who were lucky enough to know him. In short, he was the best of men. He will be sorely missed and will always have a place in the hearts of his Chilli family. Rest in peace, Mr Lloyd.
Rob brought so much to Chilli and he will be greatly missed. He was a good leader and the ultimate team player. He will be greatly missed.
His dress code for the sideline–the superman onesie he wore for an entire tournament. or that time he and Leor showed up at a tournament both donned in khaki shorts and salmon-coloured shirts and declared it the ‘official chilli supporter kit’. Rob proceeded to wear the same outfit the whole weekend.
His positivity and composure throughout his entire battle with cancer. The last time I saw him was at a braai at Sammy’s house just a little more than a month before he passed away. He was cheerful and cracking jokes the whole afternoon–the way he carried himself, you wouldn’t begin to believe all the hardships he had been through.
His incredible investment in our team even as he was battling with his illness and horrible side affects. Even if he was too weak to play, he came to coach, take stats, cheer, and be a general source of encouragement and inspiration for all of us.
His sense of humour and of adventure were wonderful, while his compassion, courage and integrity were a frequent inspiration to me.
My mind has always returned to a memory I have of an overthrown huck I put up. The deep cutter had no chance until, out of nowhere, you sprinted deep, from the other sideline, and laid out, chest height, to grab the disc for a score.
You were always involved, always encouraging, never demanding. You gave yourself a leadership role, and there wasn’t a single person who didn’t follow you. You were committed always, even when you were sick and struggling. I don’t think you put so much into our club and family because you were selfless, I think you gave so much because you loved to give.
You have left me with a hole in my heart, and a desire to give like you gave. Thank you for your presence in the Chilli Family.
I first encountered Rob in what was my first Ultimate experience, it was at a time not long after Rob had first been diagnosed with cancer. But, despite battling such a brutal beast the entire time I knew him, I will remember Rob’s humour and cheeky grin, not his disease. He was certainly braver than I could ever have been, probably than any of us could have been.
My life is much better off for sharing a field with Rob, and I am grateful for that.
Much love to Nicky and the Lloyd family, thank you for sharing Rob with us.