Gary Player and his son Marc have spoken out on the family feud over the former’s playing memorabilia and trophies.
Earlier this month, Gary released a statement saying he had taken action to recover trophies and memorabilia that had been put up for auction by Marc, who had been his manager and run his business affairs from the time he split with IMG.
Both men gave their side of the story to Sport24.
“We’ve got a family of about 40 people – 22 grandchildren, including Americans, black, white and Italian. We’ve got a United Nations of our own,” Gary said.
“When you’ve got a big family, you’re going to have some problems. One man said to me the other day because he could see that my son was trying to sell my trophies, he’s got five children, and two of them are a pain.
“All families have a brother or sister … they all have family problems. I never thought I’d have that because I adored my son.
“I gave him too much. Now, he’s taking my trophies and selling them. I had to get a lawyer to stop him because they’re mine. I earned them.
“I won the trophies, not him. Be that as it may, it’s not that serious. It’s a piece of silver. In 10 years’ time, nobody will know about it.
“I gave him my business to run and it made a lot of money,” Gary added. “You don’t want to be critical, and I’ve said I don’t want to say bad things about my son. But he took advantage and so we’ve separated. So be it.
“Of course, I’m saddened because I adored him as a young boy. My wife [Vivienne Verwey] adored him. When my wife was dying [of pancreatic cancer], he could have been sweeter and kinder to her.
“But you’ve got to let things be; let it go.”
In an emailed reply to Sport24, Marc said: “Let me start by saying how terribly sad it is that this entire family matter has not been dealt with privately and that my father’s manager shamefully chose social media to make this public.
“To whose gain other than an attempt to make me look bad, opportunistic and an ungrateful son, I am none of these but do wish to move on from all things Gary Player.
“My father is absolutely correct when he says every family has their problems, disputes and disagreements. Most, however, prudently choose to deal with these issues amongst themselves through meetings, discussion, forgiveness and with the belief that family are the most important part of our lives.
“My father has always preached about his Christian faith and how love, forgiveness and communication are essential – that blood was thicker than water.
“How sad that in his old age, he has turned out to be such a bitter hypocrite.”