Springbok legend Chester Williams dies, aged 49

Chester Williams

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The Rugby world has been saddened by the shocking news of the death of South Africa rugby legend Chester Williams, who suffered a heart attack and passed away on Friday, September 6.

Williams" importance to the black people in South Africa as Nelson Mandela attempted to build his "Rainbow Nation' can not be underestimated.

"Chester's name will go down with the greats of South African rugby as a player and for what he stood for in our country's history", said South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus from the team's hotel in Japan.

Although the famous World Cup win of 1995 came after the end of apartheid, rugby still held the perception of being a sport for the white population of South Africa.

Cape Town - Deceased former Springbok wing Chester Williams anxious about his health for some time, a report has indicated.

Williams was named the SA Rugby Player of the Year in 1994.

Williams was part of the 1995 Springbok rugby team which took home the World Cup and was the first player of colour to represent the Boks since the 1980s. He was later recalled and scored four tries in the quarter-final against Samoa.

However, Williams will always be most remembered for being the only black player in the South African squad that first won the World Cup 24 years ago.

"The news of Chester's passing is devastating and hard to believe, as he was still young and seemingly in good health", said the governing body's president, Mark Alexander.

A fast, skillful and clever wing who played domestically for Western Province, Williams played 27 Tests for South Africa from 1993 to 2000 and scored 14 Test tries.

After his playing days, Williams turned to coaching, where he was involved at various levels of the game, including the Blitzboks, Cats (Vodacom Super Rugby), the national teams of Uganda and Tunisia, the Phakisa Pumas (Currie Cup), and more recently the University of the Western Cape in the FNB Varsity Cup.

SuperSport will air a special all-day tribute for Chester Williams.

Loose forward Ruben Kruger (39) died from brain cancer in 2010, scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen (45) from motor neurone disease in 2017 and wing James Small (50) from a heart attack earlier this year.

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