Better late than never

16:00, Feb 09 2011
Sonny Bill Williams
APOLOGY ACCEPTED: Windwhistle School had a treat when Crusaders rugby team members made good a promise by Sonny Bill Williams.

Tickets to the NPC rugby final: $35. A postage stamp: 50c. Sonny Bill Williams teaching your child to keep a promise: Priceless.

Crusaders star Sonny Bill Williams apologised to the children of a rural Canterbury school for forgetting a promise he had made to a teacher's husband.

Williams invited the Windwhistle School pupils to take part in a Crusaders training session at Terrace Downs yesterday to return an overdue favour.

Principal Frances Nimmo said Williams taught the children a "valuable" lesson.

"It was unbelievable. He couldn't keep his promise but he made up for it in the end.

"I couldn't believe Sonny Bill was apologising to the children. He has taught them to have the courage to be able to apologise to others in the future and make things right, something that is hard to teach children in a classroom."


Williams received letters from 12 pupils last year, reminding him of a promise he had broken.

When Williams was driving through Springfield last August, he ran out of petrol and found all the service stations closed.

Bevan Mehrtens gave Williams petrol and refused to accept money, instead asking for tickets to the NPC rugby final if Canterbury made it.

Williams forgot about the promise and Canterbury went on to win the final.

Williams had told media: "These kids sent me a letter. They had this thing going in class, 'will he remember to send the tickets to the final?' Obviously, I didn't. I got the letter, and I just felt so bad."

The whole school was invited to the training session. Nimmo said the school's 22 pupils attended, along with the teachers, parents and grandparents of the children.

The Press