Springbok legend Chester Williams suffered a fatal heart attack and passed away unexpectedly last Friday (06 September), at just 49-years-old. The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) remembers Chester fondly as a long-time friend and colleague who will be greatly missed.
Stefan Terblanche, CEO of SARLA said, “We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to Chester’s wife Maria, his children, Matthew, Chloe and Ryan, and all his close family and friends. We are extremely grateful for Chester’s hard work and dedication to rugby throughout his successful career”.
He went on to say, “Chester actively participated in rugby development initiatives by assisting at several coaching clinics. He also toured with SARLA on a few occa-sions and many of us have extremely fond memories of the time we spent with him. Chester was a giant among us, whose contribution to rugby will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.”
President of SARLA, Gavin Varejes said, “Chester was a good man who was taken from us too soon. We’ll never forget his energy and positivity. One of his greatest strengths was motivating others and helping them reach their full potential. We’ll miss his tenacity, his giving nature and his ability to make others feel good about themselves.”
Following his retirement, Chester remained active in coaching, both locally and in-ternationally – notably with the Springbok Sevens team, the Romanian, Tunisian and Ugandan national teams and the Currie Cup’s Phakisa Pumas. He gave tire-lessly of his time to his fellow South Africans and several worthy causes, and he worked as the head Rugby Coach at the University of the Western Cape.
Chester Williams was a champion for diversity in sport, a key player in the ground-breaking 1995 Springbok Rugby World Cup victory and a generous humanitarian. A funeral service will be held this Saturday, 14 September at 12 PM, at DHL New-lands Stadium.
SARLA invites all players – past and present – who would like to attend to RSVP via email before Thursday, 12 September. Please send your RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org. SARLA would like to request that all players wear their Club, Provincial or National blazers at the service.
Please could all players attending meet SARLA officials at the Newlands Sports Science Institute at 11 AM so that players can enter the Stadium as a procession and be seated appropriately.