Richard Feher

Richard Feher thumbnail

Richard is a physiotherapist. Unlike the surgeons who put men back together when they are asleep, physios have to spend lots of time with their patients when they are awake. The more serious the injury, the more time they spend with their patients.
Richard is used to men and their injuries. He’s heard every reason in the book as to why men can’t stop their training to allow their injuries to heal. This is hardly surprising as he sees the full spectrum of stupid men who won’t listen. From addicted exercise fanatics to egotistical sports gods, to martial artists, MMA fighters and adrenaline junkies. Richard is always patient, empathetic and respectful but he is also honest. I first saw him when I was a in the fanatical martial artist category in my late forties. I was training too hard and outside of my limitations. Being thrown onto concrete floors after two lots of back surgery wasn’t sensible. My excuse was that I needed the stress release. Richard didn’t buy it. He told me that if I carried on training at that pace I wouldn’t be able to throw a punch by the time I reached 50. I listened but I would be back after a freak accident resulted in my quadriceps tendon being ripped completely from my knee cap. It was during the 6 weeks of rehab that I got to know him a little better.
He has had an interesting career and has worked as a physio for many of the world’s top sports teams – locally with Orlando Pirates Football Club in 1998, internationally in Wales as The Tongan National Rugby Team lead physiotherapist in 1999, in the UK with Chelsea Football Club and more recently with the Pakistan Cricket Team.
In addition to practising physiotherapy he enjoys an academic challenge. He has a Master’s degree in Sports Physiotherapy and is currently studying towards his doctorate. For most men this would be enough, but there is a yearning for adventure that is coupled with a desire to make a difference. In 2009 Richard ran the Himalayan Hundred Miler to Mount Everest in order to raise funds for the Chris Burger/ Petro Jackson player’s fund, an organisation set-up to assist injured rugby players in South Africa. He finished 11th.
This was followed in by another adventure in 2010 when he rode solo across Africa on his motorbike to raise funds and awareness for injured rugby players.
More recently he started a project called RUGBY HOPE. This involves visiting and assisting families of South African rugby players who were paralyzed as a result of a rugby injury.
His involvement with sportsmen who have been injured is inspired by his own personal experiences with serious injuries. After almost losing his life and breaking his legs not once, but three times, Richard understands what it means to be helpless and totally dependent on others. Another deeply inspiring event was when he met Anthony Kairuz from the One Step Closer foundation. Anthony is a close friend and patient who tragically broke his neck whilst riding. This journey from sporting greatness to paralysis, and the struggle to live a full life once more, has inspired Richard with his quest to help others improve their lives.
Richard runs a busy practice in Randburg. His job has helped him to realise how precious the gift of health is and he savours the freedom of running and the adrenaline rush from mountain biking. He also savours more sedate pursuits like cooking and writing.
Time is precious and carefully allocated. Spending time with his wife, daughter and dogs are a priority but he still manages to enjoy an occasional drink with mates.
Richard is our mens’ health champion for helping to rehabilitate so many broken men and for his dedication to raising funds and awareness for paralyzed rugby players. We also appreciate and honour his commitment to academic excellence.
By Andrew Oberholzer
Managing Director: The Health Society of SA
CEO: The Prostate Cancer Foundation.