Chris Schoeman                 

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Biography

Chris Schoeman was born in the district of  Somerset East, lying in the shadow of the Bosberg where his father used to hunt kudu and bushbuck, and venison and biltong were merely another part of the family diet. He was only a pikkie when they moved to the Uitenhage area, and his fondest memories of those early years include running around freely and safely in the bush, fishing in the Zwartkops River and trundling up the hill to the old Boet Erasmus Rugby Stadium with his father.


After his compulsory military stint in the School of Armour, Bloemfontein, he studied at the University of Port Elizabeth where he obtained a Masters degree in History on the Frontier Wars. He then worked as archivist, Hansard reporter in Parliament and as historian with the National Monuments Council, before leaving for the USA where he obtained a Masters degree in Historic Preservation at Colorado State University. Back in SA he worked as conservation officer for the City of Cape Town, as journalist with the Cape Town daily Die Burger , as editor of two South African rugby magazines and as web editor for the SA Rugby Players Association. As rugby writer he has been on several tours with the Springboks to Europe and Australasia since 1996.


His first book was District Six: The Spirit of Kanala, published by Human & Rousseau in 1994. Then followed a number of rugby books which included Danie Gerber: Maestro of the Midfield (Sable Media/Struik, 1995), Seasons of Glory: The Life and Times of Bob Loubser (CJS Books, 1999, revised 2006) and the best-selling biographies of the legendary Springboks Frik du Preez (Frik: The Autobiography of a Legend - Don Nelson, 2004) and Os du Randt (Os: The Autobiography - Tafelberg, 2006). He is also the founder/editor of the Who’s Who of SA Rugby annual, which has been published annually since 1996. In 2007 he wrote Legends of the Ball (CJS Books) in conjunction with three of rugby’s greatest legends, Willie John McBride, Frik du Preez and David Campese. 


Along with Frik du Preez, voted South Africa’s Rugby Player of the Century in 2000, he has also written a three-book series of humorous rugby stories entitled Losskrums en Loopdoppe (Human & Rousseau, CJS Books, 1999, 2002, 2004). A similar publication, entitled Boots & Brannewyn, was published by Random House Struik in August 2010.


His latest sports books are Slow Death: Memoirs of a Cricket Umpire (Random House Struik) on the most experienced international umpire of all time, Rudi Koertzen, and The No.10s: South Africa's Finest Flyhalves 1891-2010 (June and November 2010).  


He has lately turned to historical publications as well, of which his latest works are Boer Boy - Memoirs of an Anglo-Boer War Youth (December 2010, also published in Afrikaans as Boerseun - Memoires van 'n Anglo-Boereoorlogseun); Brothers in Arms - Hollanders in the Anglo-Boer War (February 2012, also published as Broers in die Stryd - Hollanders in die Anglo-Boereoorlog); Angels of Mercy - Foreign Women in the Anglo-Boer War (March 2013, also published in Afrikaans as Engele in die Vreemde);  Vegter en Balling - Boereoorlogervarings van Veldkornet Charles von Maltitz (March 2013); Churchill's South Africa - Travels during the Anglo-Boer War (June 2013) and The Historical Karoo: Traces of the Past in South Africa's Arid Interior (July 2013). 


Chris lives in Claremont in Cape Town and his main interests are travel, photography, reading, outdoor life and sport.