CAPE TOWN – “Great dad, great husband, great son, great friend and great rugby player.”
This was Chester Williams’s response with that characteristic big smile when I asked him what he wanted his legacy to be.
It was at what turned out to be his last public appearance.
He was a panellist at a Cape Times Breakfast held at the CPUT Hotel School in Mouille Point on July 31 that showcased the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan and South Africa’s strong business relationship with the highly developed ancient nation.
Chester appeared healthy and happy with his fellow rugby greats on the panel: 1995 World Cup winner James Dalton, Springboks Gio Aplon and Scarra Ntubeni and Cape Times rugby writer Wynona Louw.
Also on the panel was Japanese consul-general in South Africa Yasushi Naito.
Chester spoke eloquently about rugby, about the changes within South African rugby and relived the winning of the 1995 World Cup. Chester had belief in South Africa and said that he finally felt he lived in a country in which he would not be judged by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character.
Grown men chasing a ball after dark, in an arena lit up by the car headlights, and with no protection from the cold wind.
When I asked Chester Williams about his earliest rugby memory, the image was not one manufactured by television. Nor was it of crowded stands, hot chips, pies and the one-sided chant of “Western Province” at Newlands. It was also not of the Springboks.
This story originally appeared on IOL – Read the full story here.