Fara Williams

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Fara Williams
Fara Williams England Ladies v Montenegro 5 4 2014 790.jpg
Personal information
Full name Fara Tanya Franki Williams Merrett[1]
Date of birth (1984-01-25) 25 January 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth London, England
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Liverpool Ladies
Number 8
Youth career
Chelsea Ladies
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
000?–2001 Chelsea Ladies
2001–2004 Charlton Athletic Ladies
2004–2012 Everton Ladies
2012– Liverpool Ladies 14 (3)
National team
2001– England 130 (37)
2012– Great Britain 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:24, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Fara Tanya Franki Williams Merrett (born 25 January 1984) is an English football player. She is a central midfielder for England Women and FA WSL club Liverpool Ladies. A consistent goalscorer and set–piece specialist, Williams is considered one of England's leading players.[3][4] She is employed by The Football Association (FA) as a skills coach.[5]

Since making her senior debut in 2002, Williams has accrued over 100 appearances for England. She played at the 2005, 2009 and 2013 European Championships, as well as the World Cup in 2007 and 2011. Williams also featured for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics. She started her club career with Chelsea until she left for Charlton Athletic in 2001. She signed for Everton in 2004 and later captained the club, winning the Premier League Cup in 2008 and the FA Women's Cup in 2010. After eight years with Everton she signed for local rivals Liverpool, along with Natasha Dowie. Williams was named FA Young Player of the Year in 2002, FA Players' Player of the Year in 2009 and FA International Player of the Year in both 2007 and 2009.

Club career[edit]

Williams attended Shene School in Richmond, London and joined Chelsea Ladies under–14s at the age of 12. She scored 30 goals for Chelsea's first team in 2000–01 and signed for Charlton Athletic Ladies during the following season. She won Charlton's Player of the Year and the FA Women's Young Player of the Year in her first season, 2001–02.[6]

A back injury ruled Williams out of much of the 2002–03 season.[7] In May 2003 Williams scored an unfortunate own-goal three minutes after coming on as a substitute in Charlton's 3–0 FA Women's Cup final defeat to Fulham.[8] She headed a corner from Fulham's Rachel Unitt — Williams' England team-mate and then flatmate[9] — into her own net.[10]

In 2003–04 Williams returned to form and was an important part of the Charlton Athletic side who challenged for all three domestic trophies.[11] She started Charlton's second successive FA Women's Cup final in May 2004, but suffered another 3–0 defeat as Julie Fleeting scored a hat-trick for Arsenal.[12] Although Arsenal also pipped Charlton to the League title by a single point,[13] Williams collected an FA Women's Premier League Cup winners' medal when Charlton beat Fulham 1–0 at Underhill in March 2004.[14]

Williams surprisingly moved to Everton Ladies in summer 2004,[15] where fans gave her the nickname "Queen Fara".[16] In 2004–05 Williams lost her third FA Women's Cup final in a row, to former club Charlton.[17] She won another League Cup medal in 2007–08 as Everton defeated Arsenal at Brisbane Road.[18] Williams missed two penalties, one in normal time and one in the shoot-out, as Everton were edged out by Leeds in the FA Women's Cup semi-final at Haig Avenue.[19] In 2008–09 Everton missed out on the League title on goal difference after a final day defeat to Arsenal. However, Williams' performances saw her voted FA Players' Player of the Year.[20]

On 23 September 2009 Williams was picked in the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) International Draft by Philadelphia Independence. She was due to join up with her England team-mate Lianne Sanderson in America, before deciding to stay with Everton.[5] Williams' loyalty was rewarded with another two Cup finals in 2010: a defeat to Leeds Carnegie in the Premier League Cup, in which Williams scored Everton's consolation,[21] followed by a memorable extra–time win over Arsenal in the FA Women's Cup.[22]

In November 2012 Williams and Natasha Dowie left Everton for local rivals Liverpool, who were hoping to build a squad capable of ending Arsenal's dominance of English women's football.[23] Liverpool beat Bristol Academy 2–0 on the final day to secure the 2013 FA WSL league title.[24]

International career[edit]

England[edit]

Williams' senior England debut came aged 17 against Portugal in November 2001.[25] During the return fixture in February 2002, her first start, Williams scored the opening goal from a free kick in a 3–0 win at Fratton Park.[26]

Williams played in all three of England's group games at Women's Euro 2005, scoring a penalty in the 2–1 defeat to Denmark. She also scored five goals in helping England qualify for the World Cup in China, including two in the 13–0 win over Hungary. Williams forced the decisive own-goal in the play-off against France which sealed qualification.[27]

She went on to play in all three of England's group games at the World Cup, and scored a penalty in England's 6–1 win over Argentina. However, she also picked up her second yellow card of the group stage in that match, and so missed the quarter-final defeat by the United States through suspension.[28] On 23 May, Williams picked up the 2007 FA International Player of the Year Award.[27]

On 8 May 2008 England played Belarus in the UEFA Women's Euro 2009 qualifying and Williams scored a hat-trick of long-range goals.[29] In May 2009 Williams was again named FA International Player of the Year, and was also voted FA Players' Player of the Year.[30]

At the Euro 2009 final tournament in Finland, Williams scored a penalty during England's first game against Italy. However, England lost the match 2–1 after Williams' error resulted in a red card for Casey Stoney.[31] England improved and Williams, captain in the absence of the injured Faye White, scored in a 3–2 quarter final win over hosts Finland.[32] She also featured in the semi-final win over the Netherlands and final defeat to Germany.[20]

Williams was England's top-scorer with seven goals during qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.[33] A knee injury sustained in a WSL match with Lincoln Ladies left her battling for fitness ahead of the finals.[34] Despite this, Williams was "more than pleased" to be named in the squad on 10 June 2011.[35] At the final tournament, she headed the first goal of England's campaign in the 1–1 draw with Mexico and also featured against New Zealand before being rested for the final group game, a 2–0 victory over Japan. Williams played 120 minutes in the quarter final exit to France. She was not among the penalty takers in England's penalty shootout defeat.

Williams earned her 100th Cap in the 2012 Cyprus Cup against Switzerland on 1 March 2012. England won the game 1–0 with Williams proud to score the only goal of the game: "It's a massive achievement to reach 100 caps and getting the goal made it extra special."[36] She was part of the England squad which performed poorly at UEFA Women's Euro 2013 and was eliminated in the first round.

On August 3rd, 2014, Williams led the England team out against Sweden and became the most capped player in the history of English football, with 130 Caps. [37]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.

Great Britain Olympic[edit]

In June 2012 Williams was named in an 18–player Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Williams told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in May 2014 that she had been homeless for six years during the early part of her football career. At the time of the interview, she was working for the Homeless FA charity as a coach at Manchester United's The Cliff, and helping to select the England team for the Homeless World Cup.[39]

Honours[edit]

2013
2009–10
2003–04, 2007–08
2009, 2013
  • FA International Player of the Year Award: 2
2006–07, 2008–09
  • FA Players' Player of the Year Award: 1
2008–09
  • FA Young Player of the Year Award: 1
2001–02

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UEFA Competitions Association player list". UEFA. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "#8 Fara Williams". The Sports Network. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "England". FIFA.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Fara Williams". Everton FC. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Tony Leighton (14 March 2010). "Everton's Fara Williams declines move to American league". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Farah Williams". BBC. 25 April 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "England women Fixtures and Results, 2004/05". Cresswell Wanderers FC. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Clockwatch: Women's FA Cup final". BBC. 5 May 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Charlton v Fulham Ladies". Charlton Athletic FC. 26 March 2004. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Fulham Ladies bag Cup". BBC. 5 May 2003. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Hope Powell (28 April 2004). "Too close to call". BBC. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Hope Powell (3 May 2004). "Arsenal 3 – 0 Charlton". BBC. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Lars Kubusch and David Shannon (6 March 2005). "England (Women) 2003/04". RSSSF.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Matt Wright (28 March 2004). "Coss goal gives Charlton cup final win". Charlton Athletic FC. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  15. ^ "So Fara so good". TheFA.com. 25 August 2004. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  16. ^ Beth Neil (10 September 2009). "England's lionesses; Pole dancer, juggler, lawyer, mum..our women's Euro finalists". The Mirror. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  17. ^ Tony Leighton (28 March 2004). "Third time lucky". TheFA.com. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Everton win Ladies Premier League Cup". Liverpool Daily Post. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  19. ^ Tony Leighton (16 March 2008). "Arsenal face Leeds in Cup final". BBC. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  20. ^ a b James Masters (25 September 2009). "Fara ready for Toffees' opener". TheFA.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "'Overwhelmed' White lauds Final effort". The Football Association. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  22. ^ Peter Lansley (4 May 2010). "Natasha Dowie goals lift family mood as Everton win Women’s Cup". The Times. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  23. ^ Garrity, Paul (14 November 2012). "Liverpool sign Everton's Fara Williams and Natasha Dowie". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Rudd, Alyson (30 September 2013). "Katrin Omarsdottir helps Liverpool to first title". The Times. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "England Player Biographies". Women Soccer. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Emma Stoney (2 February 2002). "Williams drives England forward". TheFA.com. Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "More honours for Arsenal". UEFA.com. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  28. ^ "England player profile: Fara Williams". UEFA.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  29. ^ "Contenders: Williams". TheFA.com. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  30. ^ "Akers honoured at FA Awards". TheFA.com. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  31. ^ Ashley Gray (24 May 2007). "Fara Williams insists: I'm to blame for Casey Stoney's sending off". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Finland women 2–3 England women". BBC. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  33. ^ "Fara Williams". TheFA.com. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  34. ^ "Fara Williams winning race to be fit for the World Cup". BBC Sport. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  35. ^ "Faye White named in England Women's World Cup squad". BBC Sport. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  36. ^ Leighton, Tony (1 March 2012). "England beat Switzerland in Cyprus Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  37. ^ http://www.sportsister.com/2014/08/04/fara-williams-becomes-most-capped-player-in-the-history-of-english-football/
  38. ^ "Team GB women's squad for London 2012 announced". BBC Sport. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  39. ^ Creighton, Jessica (31 May 2014). "England midfielder Fara Williams: I was homeless for six years". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 

External links[edit]