Bill Cotty

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Bill Cotty
Bill Cotty.jpg
Birth nameWilliam Alfred Henry Cotty
Date of birth(1875-02-24)24 February 1875
Place of birthKimberley, South Africa
Date of death6 September 1928(1928-09-06) (aged 53)
Place of deathKimberley, South Africa
SchoolKimberley Boys' High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Griqualand West ()
Correct as of 19 July 2010
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1896 South Africa 1 (0)
Correct as of 19 July 2010

William Alfred Henry "Bill" Cotty (24 February 1875 – 6 September 1928) was a South African international rugby union player. Born in Kimberley, he attended Kimberley Boys' High School before playing provincial rugby for Griqualand West (now known as Griquas). He made his only Test appearance for South Africa during Great Britain's 1896 tour. He played as a scrum-half in the 3rd Test of the series, a 9–3 loss in Kimberley.[1]

During the Siege of Kimberley, Bill fought as a trooper[2] in the Kimberley Light Horse, a colonial unit of the Boer War of 1899-1902.[3] This is unsurprising as the family were very close to Cecil Rhodes.[4] It was Rhodes who had sponsored the raising of this new regiment, the Kimberley Light Horse, in anticipation of conflict with the Boers and shortly prior to the Siege of Kimberley. The Kimberley regiment is one of only two regiments of the British Empire holding as a Battle Honour the defence of its own city - in this instance Defence of Kimberley. Bill Cotty received the Defence of Kimberley clasp[5] and the Kimberley Star for his service.

Cotty died in 1928, in Kimberley, at the age of 53.[6]


  1. ^ "Bill Cotty". Springbok Rugby Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
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  4. ^ THE S.A. MINING AND ENGINEERING JOURNAL. Johannesburg, October 8, 1921. Early History of De Beers. COTTY'S— CECIL JOHN RHODES AND BAXTERS GULLY— A LADY DIGGER. (By W. P. Taylor.) (William Peter Taylor)
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  6. ^ "South Africa / Players & Officials / Bill Cotty". Scrum. Retrieved 2010-09-05.