Chester Williams

Chester Williams
Chester Williams 2018.jpg
Chester Williams in 2018
Birth nameChester Mornay Williams
Date of birth(1970-08-08)8 August 1970
Place of birthPaarl, South Africa
Date of death6 September 2019(2019-09-06) (aged 49)
Place of deathSouth Africa
Weight84 kg (13 st 3 lb)
Rugby union career
Provincial / State sides
Western Province
Golden Lions
Super Rugby
National team(s)
1993–2000South Africa27(70)
National sevens team(s)
1993–1998South Africa
Teams coached
South Africa 7's
Mpumalanga Pumas
RCM Timişoara

Chester Mornay Williams (8 August 1970 – 6 September 2019)[1] was a South African rugby union player. He played as a winger for the South Africa national rugby union team (Springboks) from 1993 to 2000, most notably for the team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was hosted in South Africa. He was the only person of colour on the team. During the tournament he scored four tries for South Africa in its quarter-final match and also appeared in the semi-final and final. Domestically he played rugby for the Western Province in the Currie Cup.

After retiring, Williams pursued a career in coaching, including a spell with the South Africa national rugby sevens team, the Uganda national rugby union team, and the University of the Western Cape. He was portrayed by McNeil Hendricks in the 2009 Clint Eastwood film Invictus, a biographical sports drama film about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and he also helped to coach Matt Damon and other actors for the rugby scenes used in the film. Williams died from a suspected heart attack on 6 September 2019 at the age of 49.

Playing career

Williams is best known as the star winger of the South Africa national Springbok team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup against New Zealand and was nicknamed "The Black Pearl".[2] Williams was selected in the initial squad, but had to withdraw due to injury. He was later called back into the squad and played in the quarter final, scoring four tries,[2] followed by the semi-final and the final against New Zealand, which South Africa won 15–12.[3]

Williams was 1.74 metres (5 feet 9 inches) tall with a playing weight of 84 kilograms (185 lb). He was the first non-white player to be included in the Springboks squad since Errol Tobias and his uncle Avril Williams in the early 1980s.[4] The selection of non-white players was not common in South Africa before 1992 because of the country's policy of apartheid, and there were separate governing bodies for whites, blacks, and coloureds.[5]

He made his debut for the Springboks at the age of 23 against Argentina on 13 November 1993 in Buenos Aires, a game that the Springboks went on to win 52–23 and in which he also scored a try. Williams was on the Springboks team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, notably scoring four tries against Western Samoa in the quarter finals. His Boks career, hampered by knee injuries in 1996 and 1997, ended with a 23–13 win against Wales on 26 November 2000 in Cardiff. In total he played 27 games for the Springboks, scoring 14 tries and a total of 70 points.[6] His honours included a Currie Cup win in 1999, with the Golden Lions,[2] a Tri-Nations title in 1998 (albeit that he only made two short appearances as substitute)[7] and the World Cup win in 1995.[2]

Domestically, Williams played rugby with the Western Province, appearing 63 times between 1991 and 1998, wearing shirt number 11. He then went on to win the Currie Cup with the Golden Lions in 1999.[2]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Chester Williams
français: Chester Williams
português: Chester Williams
Simple English: Chester Williams