BREAKING: Another 1995 Bok legend passes away
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Legendary 1995 World Cup-winning Springbok wing Chester Williams had passed on Friday at the age of 49.
SA Rugby confirmed that Williams passed away from a heart attack in Cape Town, where he lived and worked as a rugby coach at the University of the Western Cape.
Williams was part of Springbok 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad. The iconic figure played 27 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 to 2000 and scored 14 tries.
Williams’ sudden death comes less than two months after the passing of James Small, the other wing in the 1995 side.
After his playing days, Williams turned to coaching, where he was involved at various levels of the game, including the Blitzboks, Cats ( Super Rugby), the national teams of Uganda and Tunisia, the Pumas (Currie Cup), and more recently the University of the Western Cape in the Varsity Cup.
Williams is the fifth member of the Springbok squad from 1995 to pass away, after Kitch Christie (coach), Ruben Kruger (flank), Joost van der Westhuizen (scrumhalf), and Small (wing), who passed away two months ago.
Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, reacted with shock and disbelief when the news of the death of former Springbok wing and Blitzboks captain and coach
“The news of Chester’s passing is devastating and hard to believe, as he was still young and seemingly in good health,” said Alexander.
“Chester was a true pioneer in South African rugby and his performances at the World Cup in 1995, as a snapshot of his Springbok career, will forever be etched in the hearts and minds of our rugby public.
“As a member of the Springbok class of 1995, Chester was not only well-known in the rugby fraternity, but he was a much-loved South African whose influence stretched wider than just the rugby world.
“He was passionate about rugby and South Africa and as coach, at various levels, selflessly gave back to the game after he hung up his boots. He played with courage and was a beacon of light in his community and in the broader South African context,”
Williams is survived by his wife, Maria, and three children, Ryan and twins, Matthew and Chloe.
SA rugby also revealed that funeral arrangements have not yet been made and will be communicated in due course.