UWC’s varsity Cup coach and former Springbok, Chester Williams, talks to his team. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams/UWC

Cape Town - “It is with great sadness and shock that we have learnt that Chester Williams, our head of rugby and legendary Springbok, has died.

 "While Chester was a passionate supporter and leader of rugby at the University of the Western Cape, he was a man who belonged to the South African nation."

These were the words from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius after news broke of Williams' death. According to reports, the 49-year-old died after suffering a suspected heart attack. 

The professor said the Williams was beloved by all on campus for "his gentle yet determined manner".

"We will forever be indebted to this son of the South African soil for his talented display on the field as well as his innately compassionate character off the field.

"We will all remember him and his charitable endeavours through the Chester Williams Rugby Foundation that assisted many talented, young rugby players," Pretorius said.

Photo: SASPA/Luigi Bennette

The university's vice-chancellor said that they admired him for leading from the front and investing in their rugby players. Williams' dedication to the team saw that they were victorious in the Rugby Varsity Shield, which led to UWC's promotion to the Varsity Cup tournament.

"Chester transcended barriers of all kinds and will always stand as a beacon of transformation, determination and talent.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time and we, along with the South African nation and rugby fraternity, pay tribute to a humble, generous and beloved legend," Pretorius said.