JOHANNESBURG – Former Rugby legend Chester Mornay Williams has died.This comes after former teammate James Small died from a heart attack in July.The 49-year-old has reportedly died from a suspected heart attack.When he made his debut in 1993, he was the first player of colour to represent the Boks since the 1980s.He played 27 games for the Springboks, scoring 14 tries until announcing his retirement from the game in 2000.Williams went into coaching after hanging up his playing boots, having stints with the Blitzboks and Cats.
More recently he was the head coach at UWC.
He is the fifth member of the class of 95 to pass on after Small, Kitch Christie, Joost van der Westhuizen and Ruben KrugerLast month, the veteran launched his own beer, called Chester’s Lager, to be sold during the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.RIP Chester Williams. Very shocking and sad news for South Africa. Thank you for your amazing contribution to building unity in our nation and the sport of rugby. Your place in history is assured. ?????????#ChesterWilliams— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) September 6, 2019Devastating news… Chester Williams has passed away at the age of 49 ?— Cato Louw (@catolouw) September 6, 2019RIP Chester Williams… you were an icon. ???— Ilse Smalberger (@Ilse123) September 6, 2019President of SA Rugby Mark Alexander said with shock and disbelief when the news of the death of Williams.In a statement seen by Eyewitness News, Alexander said: “The news of Chester’s passing is devastating and hard to believe, as he was still young and seemingly in good health.“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.”Williams is survived by his wife, Maria, and three children, Ryan and twins, Matthew and Chloe. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made and will be communicated in due course