Francois Pienaar: Chester was fit, looked after himself

Chester Williams (Gallo Images)
Chester Williams (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar says that his 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning team-mate Chester Williams - who died after a suspected heart attack on Friday last week - was "fit" and "looked after himself". 

Pienaar was as stunned as anyone when the news broke last week that Williams had passed away suddenly at the age of 49. 

"It's terrible and we're all very shocked," said Pienaar at Williams' memorial service at the University of the Western Cape's Bellville campus on Wednesday.

Pienaar was at Heathrow Airport on his way back from London when he heard the news.

"I just couldn't believe it. Some of the team members were with him the week before when he launched his beer and he seemed fine, settled and happy," he said.

"It's a big shock that we've lost another member of the 1995 team at such a young age.

"I'm the chairperson of the Cape Town Marathon and last year I invited Chester to come and run it and he did. He was fit and looked after himself ... it's very sad."

Pienaar said that South African rugby had lost a legend. 

"He was always first at training and one of the last to leave. He deeply loved the game of rugby and worked so hard on his skills," he said.

"Chessie will always be remembered for what he did on the rugby field and what he did for young kids.

"He was such a humble person."

Williams' funeral, which has been declared an official provincial funeral by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will take place at Newlands on Saturday, September 14 from 12:00.

In addition to Saturday's service, on Thursday, September 12, there will be a tribute evening at the Boland Cricket Ground in Paarl starting at 18:00.

loading... Live
Barcelona 2
FC Bayern München 5
loading... Live
England 0
Pakistan 223/9 (86 ov)
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
44% - 5988 votes
Cricket
11% - 1491 votes
Football
19% - 2579 votes
Athletics
2% - 314 votes
Boxing
1% - 126 votes
Cycling
2% - 308 votes
Golf
5% - 665 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1113 votes
Tennis
3% - 424 votes
Water sports
1% - 123 votes
American sports
1% - 134 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 398 votes
Vote