Chester Williams

Last updated

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 birth Paarl, 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
Position(s) Wing
Provincial / State sides
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1991–1998
1999
Western Province
Golden Lions
63 -
Super Rugby
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1999–2000 Cats - -
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1993–2000 South Africa 27 (70)
National sevens team(s)
YearsTeamComps
1993–1998 South Africa
Teams coached
YearsTeam
2001–2003
2004–2005
2006
2007-2006
2007–2012
2012–2013
South Africa 7's
Cats
Uganda
Mpumalanga Pumas
Tunisia
RCM Timişoara

Chester Mornay Williams (8 August 1970 – 6 September 2019) [1] was a South African rugby union rugby 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.

South Africa national rugby union team National sports team

The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks or colloquially the Boks, is governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblems are the Springbok and the King Protea. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team.

The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the third Rugby World Cup. It was hosted and won by South Africa, and was the first Rugby World Cup in which every match was held in one country.

Western Province (rugby team) rugby union team in South Africa

Western Province is a South African rugby union team based in Newlands, Cape Town, that participates in the annual Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup tournaments. Founded in 1883, the team has won multiple titles, a record of 34 Currie Cup titles including the inaugural competition, the Vodacom Cup, the Absa Nite Series, and the Lion Cup. The club has the most supporters of any Currie Cup team.

Contents

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.

The South African national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Uganda national rugby union team

The Uganda national rugby union team are a national sporting side of Uganda, representing them at rugby union. Rugby union was introduced by the British during colonial rule and Uganda played their first international game against Kenya in 1958. They have not yet qualified for the Rugby World Cup.

University of the Western Cape university in South Africa

The University of the Western Cape (UDUBS) is a public university located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. The University of the Western Cape has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. Among academic institutions it has been in the vanguard of South Africa's historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation. UWC's key concerns with access, equity and quality in higher education arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation. The university was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for Coloured people only. Other universities near Cape Town are the University of Cape Town, and the Stellenbosch University. The establishing of UWC was a direct effect of the Extension of University Education Act, 1959. This law accomplished the segregation of higher education in South Africa. Coloured students were only allowed at a few non-white universities. In this period, other "ethnical" universities, such as the University of Zululand and the University of the North, were founded as well. Since well before the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, it has been an integrated and multiracial institution.

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]

New Zealand national rugby union team mens rugby union team of New Zealand

The New Zealand national rugby union team, called the All Blacks, represents New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is known as the country's national sport. The team has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015 as well as the inaugural tournament in 1987.

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]

Errol George Tobias is a former South African rugby union footballer, and the first black man to play in a test match for the South African national side. He gained six caps between 1981 and 1984 when the country was still following the policy of apartheid. Tobias's selection paved the way for other black players to be added to the national team: first Avril Williams, and later, Avril's nephew, Chester Williams. Of his 21 games for the Springboks, six were tests.

Avril Percy Williams is a former rugby union wing who was the second black man to play for South Africa. He gained two caps in June 1984, both against England. His nephew Chester Williams later played for the Springboks too.

Apartheid System of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap, which encouraged state repression of Black African, Coloured, and Asian South Africans for the benefit of the nation's minority white population. The economic legacy and social effects of apartheid continue to the present day.

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]

Argentina national rugby union team national sports team

The Argentina national rugby team is organised by the Argentine Rugby Union. Nicknamed the Pumas, they play in sky blue and white jerseys,

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

Wales national rugby union team Nation rugby team from Wales

The Wales national rugby union team represents Wales in international rugby union. Its governing body, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), was established in 1881, the same year that Wales played their first international against England. The team plays its home matches at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which replaced Cardiff Arms Park as the national stadium of Wales in 1999.

Domestically, Williams played rugby with the Western Province (rugby team), 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]

Currie Cup South Africas premier domestic rugby union competition

The Currie Cup tournament is South Africa's premier domestic rugby union competition, played each winter and spring, featuring teams representing either entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces. Although it is the premier domestic competition, South African teams also compete in the international Super Rugby and Pro14 competitions.

Golden Lions rugby union club

The Golden Lions is a rugby team based in Johannesburg, South Africa who compete in the annual Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup. The team is governed by the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU), and was originally known as Transvaal, before changes to the political landscape in South Africa forced a name change to the Gauteng Lions, before again being changed to the Golden Lions. The GLRU also operate a side in the Super Rugby competition, the Lions, who also draw players from Griquas.

Biography

In 2002, Williams released his controversial authorised biography, simply titled "Chester", in which he claimed that he was shunned by some of his team mates in the 1995 Springbok squad and was called racist names by James Small, [8] though he later clarified, "When we were together as a team, the team-spirit was good. We partied together, we had fun together, we stuck by one another. Those other things happened while we were playing against one another in the Currie Cup or domestic competitions. But that's in the past now. We have all moved on and everybody's happy." [9]

Clint Eastwood directed Invictus , which is about the 1995 Rugby World Cup and how it helped South Africa heal after years of apartheid. It features many scenes involving Chester, portrayed by McNeil Hendricks, including his face on the side of an SAA aeroplane. It also showed several scenes showing black children in South Africa idolising him, although author John Carlin has questioned the accuracy of this as Williams in fact identified as coloured rather than black. Carlin also wrote that during the team's visit to a township, Mark Andrews had attracted more attention than Williams as he was able to speak Xhosa. [10] Williams himself worked as one of the film's rugby coaches, alongside Dubai-based coach Rudolf de Wee, a childhood friend whom he recruited to the film. Williams and de Wee worked with the actors, including Matt Damon, in recreating the games depicted in the film. [11]

Williams was selected to carry the Olympic torch on behalf of South Africa on two occasions, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. [12]

In 2010, Williams completed the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, joining several former Springbok Rugby players who have also taken on the rugged challenge of the Untamed African MTB Race. [13]

Williams died on 6 September 2019, at the age of 49, from a suspected heart attack. [14] He was the fourth player from the 1995 world-cup-winning side to die, after Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen, and James Small, the last having died two months before Williams. [15]

Coaching career

In 2001 Williams was selected as the coach of the South African sevens team that won bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and ended runners up in the World Sevens Series. He remained sevens coach until 2003. [16]

Despite having almost no experience at coaching the fifteen-man code at any senior level, Williams was mentioned as one of the possible successors to Springbok coach Rudolf Straeuli after he resigned in 2003, but the job was given to Jake White in 2004. [13] He became coach of the Cats Super 12 team instead. He remained coach until July 2005 when he was fired after a series of poor results, when the Cats finished next-to-last in the 2005 super 12, achieving only one victory. However, in 2006, he was brought back into the South African coaching ranks as the head coach of the national "A" side (a developmental side for the Boks). [17] Also in 2006, he spent a successful few months as coach of the Uganda national rugby union team, the Cranes. [18]

He was named as the new coach of the Pumas, the team representing Mpumalanga in the Currie Cup, on 7 September 2006. He signed a two-year deal with the team, effective 1 October 2006, but resigned as coach in mid-2007. When White stepped down as the national coach in 2008, Williams was again in the running to replace him, but the job instead went to Peter de Villiers. [13]

Williams lastly served as head coach of University of the Western Cape in Varsity Rugby. Under his leadership UWC won the 2017 Varsity Shield competition. [19]

Related Research Articles

Jacobus Francois Pienaar is a retired South African rugby union player. He played flanker for South Africa from 1993 until 1996, winning 29 international caps, all of them as captain. He is best known for leading South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After being dropped from the Springbok team in 1996, Pienaar went on to a career with English club Saracens.

Jacobus Petrus "Os" du Randt is a former South African rugby union loosehead prop who retired as the most-capped forward in the history of the Springboks. For most of his career, he played in the domestic Currie Cup for the Free State Cheetahs, though he spent one season with the Blue Bulls. In Super Rugby, he represented the Free State Cheetahs when South Africa sent its top Currie Cup teams to the competition instead of franchised sides, later represented the Cats franchise, spent one season with the Bulls before returning to the Cats, and still later played for the Cheetahs. He ended his career as one of the last remaining international-level players from the amateur era of the sport and the last active member of the 1995 World Cup-winning squad. His final match was the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, which the Springboks won, with du Randt playing the entire 80 minutes. With the win, he became the first and only South African to achieve the honour of two World Cup wins, and is among a very select group of 20 international dual Rugby Union World Cup winners worldwide.

Breyton Paulse South African rugby union player

Breyton Paulse is a former South African rugby union player who played on the wing for the national team, the Springboks, from 1999 to 2007.

Gary Hamilton Teichmann is a retired South African rugby union player. He played number eight and captained the South African national team, the Springboks, between 1995 and 1999.

Blue Bulls South African rugby union team

The Blue Bulls, known for sponsorship reasons as the Vodacom Blue Bulls, or more popularly by their Afrikaans name die Blou Bulle, is a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup tournament. They are governed by the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and are based at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Gauteng province.

James Terence Small was a South African rugby union winger who played for the Springboks. His international debut was against the All Blacks in 1992 and he made his final appearance against Scotland in 1997. In that final test match, he scored his 20th try, becoming the leading Springbok try scorer, eclipsing Danie Gerber's record. He was also the leading try scorer in the 1996 Super 12 season.

Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus is a South African rugby union coach and former international player. He is the former Director of Rugby of Irish provincial side Munster, having previously served as General Manager: High Performance Teams for South African Rugby Union. As of 2018, Erasmus is the South African national team's head coach, doubling up on his duties as the first ever SARU Director of Rugby, which he was appointed towards the end of 2017.

André Johan Joubert is a former South African rugby union player, widely known as "The Rolls-Royce of Fullbacks" for his pace, class, and seemingly effortless style. He was capped 34 times at fullback for the Springboks in the early 1990s, and amassed 115 test points from 10 tries, 17 penalties and 7 conversions.

George Moir Christie, better known as Kitch Christie, was a South African rugby union coach best known for coaching the country's national team, the Springboks, to victory at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He remained unbeaten during his tenure as Springbok rugby coach between 1994 and 1996, including leading the team to a then record 14 consecutive victories. In 2011, he was inducted posthumously into the IRB Hall of Fame, later subsumed into the World Rugby Hall of Fame, alongside all other Rugby World Cup-winning head coaches and captains through the 2007 edition.

Peter de Villiers South African rugby union player

Peter de Villiers is a South African rugby union player and coach. He was coach of the South Africa national rugby union team from 2008 to 2011, after successes with the South African U19 and U21 squads, and the first-ever person of colour to be appointed to the position.

Heyneke Meyer is a rugby union coach, who was most recently the head coach of the South African national team. He was previously Head Coach at Leicester Tigers in England, and spent many years at domestic level in South Africa prior to his English stint.

Allen Erasmus 'Naka' Drotské is a former South African rugby union player, who played for the Springboks between 1993 and 1999.

Ruben Jacobus Kruger was a South African rugby union player. He played as a flanker.

<i>Invictus</i> (film) 2009 biographical sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood

Invictus is a 2009 American-South African biographical sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Springboks were not expected to perform well, the team having only recently returned to high-level international competition following the dismantling of apartheid—the country was hosting the World Cup, thus earning an automatic entry. Freeman and Damon play, the South African President Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar, respectively. Francois was the captain of the South Africa rugby union team, the Springboks.

1995 Rugby World Cup Final

The 1995 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, played in South Africa. The match was played at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg on 24 June 1995 between the host nation, South Africa, and New Zealand.

McNeil Hendricks, also known as "Maccie", is a former South African rugby union player who played primarily as a wing. He starred in the movie Invictus, in which he played the role of Chester Williams.

Eben Etzebeth rugby union player

Eben Etzebeth is a South African rugby player for the South Africa national team and Toulon in the Top 14 in France. His regular playing position is as a number 4 lock.

Pieter Willem Gabriel Rossouw is a former South African rugby player and current coach. Rossouw played wing for Western Province in the Currie Cup and the Stormers in the Super Rugby competition. He played a total of 43 times for the Springboks, making him one of the most capped Springbok wingers after South Africa's readmission to international rugby. He was also one of South Africa's most prolific try-scoring wingers, post-isolation, with only Breyton Paulse(26) and Bryan Habana(53) scoring more tries. He is 7th on the all-time try-scoring list for the Springboks. Rossouw is currently the backline coach of the Bulls in Super rugby and the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup. He was known as "Slaptjips", apparently because the sight of his running legs was like potato chips slapping together. Pieter is the older brother of Chris Rossouw, who played flyhalf for Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs.

Dean Bradley Hall is a former South African rugby player. He played on the wing. He played the majority of his career for the Johannesburg based teams, the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup and the Cats in Super Rugby. Later in his career he moved to Durban and played for the Sharks in the Currie Cup, the Natal Wildebeest in the Vodacom Cup and the Sharks in Super Rugby. He was also capped thirteen times for the Springboks and scored four test tries. His career was hampered with injury and he never reached his full potential. He was quite large for a wing, but in the wake of Jonah Lomu's sensation at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, it was hoped that Dean Hall would become the Springbok's massive wing.

References

  1. "Springbok legend Chester Williams dies". Spiort24. News24. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "WP Rugby pay tribute to 'icon' Chester Williams". Sport24 . 7 September 2019.
  3. Daniel Schofield (6 September 2019). "Former South Africa winger and 1995 World Cup winner Chester Williams dies, aged 49". Daily Telegraph .
  4. Patrick McPartlin (6 September 2019). "Chester Williams, 1995 Rugby World Cup hero and former South Africa wing, dies at 49". The Scotsman .
  5. Hopkins, John (1979). Rugby. p. 20. ISBN   0-304-30299-6.
  6. "Chester Williams", ESPN
  7. "Chester SA's most famous?". Independent Online .
  8. Keohane, Mark (2002). Chester – A Biography of Courage. Don Nelson. ISBN   1-86806-209-0.
  9. "Chester Williams: Win of change". Gulfnews.com. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2013.[ dead link ]
  10. Alex von Tunzelmann (3 October 2013). "Invictus: better on Nelson Mandela than rugby". The Guardian .
  11. Melanie Swan (19 March 2010). "Man who taught Matt Damon rugby now teaches in the UAE". The National .
  12. "Chester to carry Olympic torch for SA". Sport24 . 13 May 2016.
  13. 1 2 3 Luke Daniel (6 September 2019). "Springbok legend Chester Williams dies at age 49". The South African .
  14. Jack de Menezes (6 September 2019). "Chester Williams death: South African rugby great dies of suspected heart attack, aged 49". The Independent .
  15. "Chester Williams: South Africa World Cup winner dies aged 49". BBC Sport . 6 September 2019.
  16. Grant Shub (8 December 2017). "Chester Williams chats to Sport24". Sport24 .
  17. News | Rugby News Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  18. "Rugby coach Chester Williams quits". New Vision . 15 September 2006.
  19. Mariette Adams (10 April 2017). "UWC crowned Varsity Shield champs". SA Rugby Mag.