Hundreds join guard of honour in Kiama to farewell Darren Williams

More than 500 people gather to farewell Darren Williams in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist
More than 500 people gather to farewell Darren Williams in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

On Wednesday in Kiama, hundreds lined the street in a guard of honour for Darren Leslie Williams, a devoted family man and the backbone of Kiama Power Australian Football Club.

For his family and friends, it was a sombre farewell to a man who was taken too soon.

At 55, Darren passed away suddenly, while watching his three sons play football in Kiama on April 6.

The club's past president, former coach and tireless volunteer will be dearly missed by his community.

Vale Darren Williams, a valued volunteer from the South Coast Football community.

Vale Darren Williams, a valued volunteer from the South Coast Football community.

Darren was a friend who always had time for his mates, he was a passionate advocate for his club, and protective of everyone he cared for.

On Wednesday, at the funeral service, his wife, sons, grandchildren, friends, colleagues and fellow football club members shared their fondest memories with more than 500 people at the Kiama Pavilion.

Masses turn out to the funeral service in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Masses turn out to the funeral service in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

"He loved us all to bits," Darren's grandson Cooper said.

"He enjoyed multiple things in life but he loved footy the most. After each game we would go to the Leagues Club, and he would buy every grandchild a lemonade and play the chocolate machine until we had loads of chocolate."

Darren and wife, Kim, who married in their home town of Urana in 1986, were childhood sweethearts.

They grew up in country NSW, fell in love in their teens and have been inseparable since.

Kim reflected on Darren's gentle spirit, and strength of character.

The Pavilion filled with laughter during her story about life on the farm, when Darren accidentally stomped on a rabbit's burrow.

"He pulled out five tiny little baby rabbits and said, 'What am I supposed to do with these?'" Kim said.

"In a tough little farmer's wife's voice I said, 'I think you have to cull them.'

"He looked at me in horror, put them in the box, stewed on it for about five hours and said, 'I have a plan. I'm going to put them back in the burrow, the mother will see the nest has been disturbed and she'll take them away.'

"He meticulously put them back in the nest and covered the hole. I'd like to say his plan worked but he didn't factor in our dog, Jess, had other plans for the rabbits.

Guard of honour after the funeral service in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

Guard of honour after the funeral service in Kiama on Wednesday. Picture: Rebecca Fist

"He did say to me, 'Don't tell anyone' as he didn't want word to get out that he was a farmer who put rabbits back in the hole."

Darren's boys Michael, Ben and Tom were thankful for the time they've had with their father, who at times was intimidating and most importantly, was always kind.

They have lost a hero and a mentor.

"He taught me to always say g'day to someone, even if you thought they were a dickhead," Ben said.

A number of Australian Rules teams from Sydney to the South Coast wore black armbands in his honour on Saturday.

The gravity of seeing the 2018 premiership flag draped over Darren's coffin was not lost on Kiama Power coach Rod Richards.

Rod said Darren was filled with pride when he looked on the flag.

"We would not have won the premiership flag without that man over there," he said.

"He will be sadly missed, his legacy will live on in the club."

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