Ashley Williams (footballer)

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Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams Wales.jpg
Williams playing for Wales in 2011
Personal information
Full name Ashley Errol Williams[1]
Date of birth (1984-08-23) 23 August 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Wolverhampton, England
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Swansea City
Number 6
Youth career
West Bromwich Albion
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Hednesford Town ? (?)
2003–2008 Stockport County 162 (3)
2008 Swansea City (loan) 3 (0)
2008– Swansea City 251 (12)
National team
2008– Wales 45 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17.00, 23 August 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Ashley Errol Williams (born 23 August 1984) is a footballer who plays for Swansea City and the Wales national team as a defender. He is currently captain of both teams. He plays mainly as a central defender, and can also play at right-back.

Career[edit]

Club career[edit]

Stockport County[edit]

Born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands,[1] Williams began his career at West Bromwich Albion as a youth player but was released by the club at 16. He went on to play for non-league Hednesford Town, before joining Division Two side Stockport County in 2003.[2] Williams later became captain of Stockport, and was still at the club when he made his international debut.

In November 2007, Williams won both the inaugural North-West League Two Player of the Year Award and the North-West Player of the Year Award.[3][4]

Swansea City[edit]

In March 2008, Williams signed for Swansea City on loan until the end of the 2007–08 season, with a view to a permanent move.[2] After helping the Swans to clinch the League One title and, with it, promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time in 24 years, the move was made permanent for a reported £400,000 – a club record transfer fee at the time.[5]

On 16 September 2008, Williams scored his first Swansea goal in a 1–1 draw against Derby County.[6] The defender impressed during his first season at Championship level, eventually going on to be named the 'Wales Footballer of the Year' at an FAW awards dinner in November 2009. Williams also picked up the 'Clubman of the Year' award at the same event.[7]

After finishing in a respectable 8th position during their first Championship campaign, Swansea improved on their position by one place the following season, although endured the heartbreak of missing out on a play-off position by a single point.[8] Williams was at the heart of a defence that conceded only 37 goals during that campaign, and was selected in the 2009–10 Championship PFA Team of the Year at the end of the season.

The 2010–11 season was a success for both Swansea and Williams, with the Swans gaining promotion to the Premier League via a play-off final win at Wembley and Williams named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year for the second consecutive season. The season also saw Williams equal and surpass a club record of 106 consecutive matches, previously jointly held by Andy Legg and Gilbert Beech.[9]

Life in the Premier League began with a 4–0 loss at eventual Champions Manchester City. However, Swansea's form quickly improved, and the club finished the season in 11th place. On 24 September 2011, Williams scored his first ever Premier League goal in a 4–1 loss at Chelsea, after heading in a Mark Gower free kick.[10]

Williams playing for Swansea City in 2011

In October 2012, Williams signed a new three-year contract with Swansea.[11] The club's second season in the Premier League saw a 9th-placed finish and a first piece of major silverware for Williams and the Swans, following a 5–0 win over Bradford City in the 2013 League Cup final on 24 February 2013. After captaining the team during the final at Wembley, Williams lifted the trophy with club captain Garry Monk, who had come on as a second half substitute.

In July 2013, after wearing the armband for the majority of the Swans' games during the previous two seasons, Williams was handed the club captaincy on a permanent basis by Garry Monk, who stepped down as captain after 7 years.[12]

On 4 July 2014, Williams signed a new four-year contract with Swansea until the summer of 2018.[13]

International career[edit]

Williams made his international debut for Wales national football team on 26 March 2008,[14] two days before securing his move to Swansea City. He captained his country for the first time on 14 November 2009, in a 3–0 friendly win over Scotland in Cardiff,[15] and scored his first international goal in a 5–1 friendly win over Luxembourg in Llanelli on 11 October 2010.

In October 2012, Williams was appointed captain of Wales by Chris Coleman, replacing Aaron Ramsey.[16]

Personal life[edit]

In December 2010, Williams established the charity WillsWorld with his wife Vanessa, with a view to help under-privileged children. He is also a patron of the Ethan Perkins Trust, which raises funds for research, support and awareness into childhood brain tumours.[17]

Williams was a boyhood fan of Liverpool F.C.[18]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 11 May 2014
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2003–04 Stockport County League One 10 0 10 0
2004–05 44 1 3 1 1 0 48 2
2005–06 League Two 36 1 1 0 1 0 38 1
2006–07 46 1 2 0 1 0 49 1
2007–08 26 0 2 0 28 0
Total Stockport County 162 3 6 1 5 0 173 4
2007–08 Swansea City League One 3 0 3 0
2008–09 Championship 46 2 4 0 1 0 51 2
2009–10 46 5 46 5
2010–11 49a 3 2 0 2 0 53 3
2011–12 Premier League 37 1 2 0 1 0 40 1
2012–13 37 0 0 0 4 0 41 0
2013–14 34 1 2 0 0 0 7 0 43 1
Total Swansea City 252 12 10 0 8 0 7 0 277 12
Career total 414 14 16 1 13 0 7 0 450 16

^a The 2010–11 League total includes three play-off appearances.

International goals[edit]

Wales' goal tally first

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 11 August 2010 Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales  Luxembourg 4 – 1 5–1 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Swansea City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 437. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0. 
  2. ^ a b "Swans sign Stockport's Williams". BBC Sport. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008. 
  3. ^ Smedley, Simon (14 November 2007). "Outstanding Ash". Stockport Express (M.E.N. Media). Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
  4. ^ Baxter, Trevor (13 November 2007). "Reds make it a treble celebration". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media). 
  5. ^ "Swans complete Williams signing". BBC Sport. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2008. 
  6. ^ Witcoop, Darren (16 September 2008). "Ashley Williams denies Derby long-awaited away win". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  7. ^ "Williams takes top Welsh awards". BBC Sport. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Swansea 0-0 Doncaster". BBC News. 2 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Ash would be proud to join '106 Club'". Swansea City A.F.C. 29 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Chelsea 4 – 1 Swansea". BBC Sport. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Ashley Williams extends Swansea contract until 2015". BBC Sport. 23 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Ashley Williams made Swansea captain". London: Guardian.co.uk. 15 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Williams commits future to Swans". swanseacity.net. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Ashley Williams: Wales captaincy decision 'no big deal'". BBC Sports. 7 October 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Shuttleworth, Peter (14 November 2009). "Wales 3-0 Scotland". BBC News. 
  16. ^ "Williams to captain Wales".
  17. ^ http://www.willsworld.org.uk/welcome/
  18. ^ Hunter, Andy (11 April 2013). "Liverpool confident of signing Ashley Williams from Swansea City". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Aaron Ramsey
Captain of Wales national football team
2012–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Garry Monk
Swansea City captain
2013–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent