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Chester Williams

A laid back coach and World Cup-winner, Chester Williams has been an inspiration since he first donned the green and gold. Learn more about him with Rugby365

One of the most notable Springboks of colour, Chester Williams played an important role in scraping away the scars of Apartheid within the South African side.

The former Springbok wing was born on 8 August 1970 and grew up in Paarl. He received the guidance a young aspiring rugby player needed from the then Maties coach. He insists the impact it had on him assisted his own coaching as well.

At 21, the icon started playing in the Currie Cup for Western Province. He faced a series of racial hardships during this time, as Apartheid had not been officially abolished.

He knew, however, that if he was good enough the colour of his skin would not hold a coin to what he could do on the pitch. An ideal he learnt from his uncle, Avril Williams, who was a Springbok before him.

Chester Williams went on to make 63 appearances for Western Province over eight years, helping them become finalists in 1995 and 1998, and win the competition in 1997.

He made his Springbok debut in 1993 against Argentina when he was 23 years old. The humble wing assisted his team in decimating the South American side 52 - 23, scoring a try of his own.

After showing his worth along the wing, the speedy Springbok got drafted for the South African Rugby World Cup squad in 1995. He went on to score four tries in the quarterfinal against Samoa, and was the only player of colour in the Springbok squad that won the Final.

The modest wing went on to secure a total of 27 caps for South Africa and bagged 70 points, struggling with knee injuries after the World Cup.

Before the turn of the millennium, Chester Williams joined the Golden Lions and lent a hand in lifting the 1999 Currie Cup.

A few years later, he would retire from on-field play and move to the coaching box, but did not find as much success on the sideline as he did on the pitch.

The Springbok legend, Chester Williams, unexpectedly passed away at the age of 49 from a heart attack.

His efforts on the pitch and what he represented, changed the fate of South African rugby for the better. Chester Williams lived his life as a beacon for what the game can represent to people from all walks of life, and died enacting that philosophy.