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Chester Williams' 'passion & love for everyone' remembered at memorial service

The 49-year-old Williams’ life was celebrated with a memorial service at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Wednesday.

A poster of Chester Williams at the UWC campus where a memorial service was held on 11 September 2019 for the former Springbok World Cup-winning winger. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Former Springbok Chester Williams’ death came at a time when the country needed men of his stature the most.

The 49-year-old Williams’ life was celebrated with a memorial service at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Wednesday.

The rugby hero, who died of a heart attack last week, will be honoured with a special provincial official funeral at Newlands Rugby Stadium on Saturday.

Mourners celebrated William’s life and cheered on as speakers remembered the fallen hero.

Director of UWC Sport, Mandla Gagayi, said Williams was seen by many as a rugby legend and an achiever, but for them, he was a simple guy with a big heart.

“All that Chester wanted was to see everyone around him succeed. He took interest in our lives, whether it was a simple conversation or a joke with a cleaner, a security guard, a sports administrator or a student – to him everyone deserved to be happy,” he said.

William's wife, Maria Williams, called the UWC rugby team on stage and reminded them of Chester’s devotion to the team.

“He had a passion and love for everyone, he had a passion to develop young people through sport. Chester was what people wanted him to be in the sporting fraternity,” she said.

The national flag will fly at half-mast in the Western Cape on the day of Williams’ funeral.

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