“I wish I could give you a kiss and tell you I love you one last time”.
Chloe Williams, daughter of the late Chester Williams, paid tribute to her father at his official state funeral at Newlands stadium, Cape Town on Saturday, saying she wasn’t expecting to be paying tribute to her father “so soon”.
Williams, 49, died last week after suffering a heart attack.
In attendance at the funeral were Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, close friend and public works and infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille as well as members of the iconic 1995 Springboks rugby world cup winning squad, among others.
Said Chloe: “I didn’t think I would be standing up here [on the podium] so soon, but my dad has given me the strength … What an incredible dad you were. Your legacy will live on forever”.
“I wish I could give you a kiss and tell you I love you one last time. You had such an amazing heart and no human can ever replace you.
“I think about you everyday,” said Chloe.
Chester’s wife Maria said she would “cherish our love for each other forever. He was and always will be the best father to his children,” said Maria.
Representing government, Mthethwa, like many speakers before him, spoke about the inspiration Williams was.
“Words seem to be inadequate to express how we feel about his passing. He defied obstacles that were meant to diminish him to oblivion,” said Mthethwa in tribute.
Mthethwa said Williams always, by his own admission, wanted to become a Springbok and “he worked hard to become a Springbok”.
“His life was personified by hard work, determination and resilience. His inclusion in the 1995 Springboks world cup winning side was a symbol of hope for marginalised players. Nothing is harder than saying goodbye to someone of your calibre,” said Mthethwa.