Death of Kiama Power stalwart Darren Williams devastates AFL South Coast community

Legacy: Darren Williams (black jacket, far right) with the 2018 Kiama premiership team. Picture: Robert Peet
Legacy: Darren Williams (black jacket, far right) with the 2018 Kiama premiership team. Picture: Robert Peet

"We wouldn't have won the flag on Saturday without you".

In the afterglow of premiership glory, coach Rod Richards was quick to single out the contribution of Kiama's main power source.

There are many great men and women who drive footy clubs. 

For Kiama, Darren Williams was more than just one of them. He was the man

Darren and wife Kim had run everything from the committee to the canteen almost since the club was founded in 2002.

As a result, they'd been awarded life membership of the club, at the end of a wildly successful season.

The Power's first grade marched to a 8.6 (54) to 5.11 (41) grand final victory over arch-rivals Wollongong Lions. 

The reserves only relinquished the title they'd won the previous year, by losing the decider to a Bomaderry team which had been relegated from the top tier, under the six-team format. 

Kiama are a genuine powerhouse of talent and depth. 

One of three of Darren and Kim's sons, Ben is co-captain of the Power this year. 

Michael played in the 2018 premiership team, while Tom joined them on the field for the season opener against Figtree at Bonaira Oval on Saturday.

The first family of Kiama Australian football.

There's a five-minute video snapshot of Darren and Kim's contribution to the club and what it means to those around them. 

The words are glowing and meaningful. 

"Like parents to me". "I couldn't imagine this club without them". "Epitomise the values of the club". "Beautiful people and beautiful friends".

Darren is a past player and former president, also coaching the inaugural women's team last year. 

Everyone at the club respects them.

And then tragedy struck. 

Darren passed away suddenly while on the sidelines watching the Power's game against Figtree.

The premiers were trailing by 20-odd points just before three-quarter time, when the game was halted and then called off, as the umpires became aware there was an emergency. 

As if the score even matters. 

On Tuesday night, they will wear their teal, white and black at Bonaira Oval, the usual bouyant mood of a premiership club replaced by devastation and sombre reflection.

A pastoral session will be run by Sports Chaplaincy Australia at 6.30pm.

"We pass our deepest condolences to the family, in particular Kim, Michael, Ben and Tom and their extended family," the AFL South Coast offered in tribute.

"The impact Darren has had on not only on our football club, but the community in the Kiama and broader South Coast region is clearly evident and his legacy will live forever."

Kiama are due to meet the Lions again at North Dalton Park on Saturday, the discussion about whether the game is to go ahead or be deferred will be held later in the week.

Whenever they can muster the strength to pull on the guernsey and boots again, the giant legacy Darren Williams leaves will be with them.

This story Shock death of Kiama Power stalwart devastates AFL South Coast community first appeared on South Coast Register.