The funeral arrangements of former Springbok wing Chester Williams have been finalised and announced by his family.
In their notice on social media platforms, the family noted: “Everybody is welcome to all occasions”.
On Wednesday, there will be a memorial service at the University of Western Cape in Bellville. The service, at 1pm, will be conducted in the Main Hall.
At the time of his passing, Williams was the coach of the UWC Varisty Cup rugby team. He had led the team to the trophy in 2017.
On Thursday, there will be a tribute evening at the Boland Cricket Ground in Paarl starting at 6pm. Williams was born and bred in Paarl and emerged through the ranks of Boland rugby before being snapped up by Western Province.
On Saturday, his funeral will take place at the Newlands Rugby Stadium, the home of Western Province Rugby Union starting at 12:00 SAST.
Williams began his top-flight rugby career at Western Province and went on to earn 67 caps before his move to the Golden Lions and later the Cats in the Super Rugby competition.
An immense contribution to the game
Sadly Williams is the fourth Rugby World Cup 1995 winner to pass away after the deaths of Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen and James Small. All Black legend Jonah Lomu, who played against Williams and company on that day also tragically died young due to a rare kidney disease.
He would distinguish himself on the field and make his mark on coaching as well, coaching the Blitzboks and Cats Super Rugby team.
Williams did his bit for the growth of the game on the African continent accepting coaching jobs with Tunisia and Uganda and is fondly remembered in the rugby community. As a player as well as a coach he was a trailblazer.
The family are shocked and deeply saddened by Williams’ sudden passing but have ensured that all memorials are open to the public to allow all South Africans to mourn alongside those closest to the Bok legend.
“Chester was the one who put me through school, he was my mentor. If I need some advice he will always reply. This couple of months he sent me many messages to say he loved me and my sister, so it’s a tough time for the family. We gonna miss him. He’s always been my rock, I’ve always looked up to him,” said Chester’s brother Emile Williams.