Steve Williams (footballer, born 1958)

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Steve Williams
Personal information
Full name Steven Charles Williams
Date of birth (1958-07-12) 12 July 1958 (age 56)
Place of birth Romford, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1974–1976 Southampton
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1984 Southampton 279 (18)
1984–1988 Arsenal 95 (4)
1988–1991 Luton Town 40 (1)
1991–1993 Exeter City 48 (0)
1993 Derry City 2 (0)
National team
1977–1980 England U21 14 (0)
1983–1984 England 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Steven Charles "Steve" Williams (born 12 July 1958 in Romford, England) is an English former football midfielder.

Playing career[edit]

Southampton[edit]

Williams went to school at St Edwards CofE Romford and started out as an apprentice with Southampton, having been a product of the Saints’ London Selection Centre and joining the club straight from school.

He turned professional in 1975 and made his debut, in a 1–0 victory away to local rivals, Portsmouth aged 17 on 6 April 1976, replacing Peter Osgood, who had been dropped for disciplinary reasons. (This result helped condemn Portsmouth to relegation to Division 2.)

He went on to establish himself as a talented midfielder, particularly with his passing ability and composure on the ball. In his first full season, 1976–77, he was voted "player of the year" and earned recognition for England at under-21 level.

In the 1978–79 season, he was an ever-present in Saints’ run to the 1979 League Cup final (which they lost 3–2 to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest).

He succeeded Alan Ball as team captain and led The Saints to an F.A. Cup semi-final and to runners-up position in the 1983–84 First Division.

Unfortunately, the following season, manager Lawrie McMenemy was becoming disillusioned with Southampton, feeling that he had taken the club as far as he could. This disillusionment spread to several key players including Williams, leading to a transfer request. In December 1984 he was transferred to Arsenal for a club record £550,000.

In all, he played 349 times for Southampton, scoring 27 goals.

England[edit]

Williams played fourteen times for the England under-21s.[1] He also won six caps for England, his debut coming against Australia on 12 June 1983.[2] and won four caps for the England 'B' team.

Arsenal[edit]

In December 1984 Williams moved to Arsenal (the club he supported as a boy) for £550,000.[3] After making his debut in a North London derby match against Tottenham Hotspur on 1 January 1985, Williams was a regular for the rest of the season, playing another seventeen matches and showing the same promising form he had shown at Southampton. However, his next season, 1985–86, he suffered toe and hamstring injuries which limited his appearances in the side.

By the time he had recovered, George Graham had taken over as Arsenal manager, and initially Williams thrived, playing on the right hand side of midfield, alongside a young David Rocastle. In Graham's first season, Arsenal reached and won the League Cup final, beating Liverpool, meaning Williams picked up his first winner's medal. Williams continued to play through the next season, but after Arsenal lost to Manchester United in January 1988, Williams was dropped to allow Michael Thomas to push forward into midfield, with new signing Lee Dixon taking over his place at right back. Unable to reclaim his place in the side, Williams fell out with Graham, and in July 1988 he moved to Luton Town. In all he played 121 games for Arsenal, scoring five goals.

Luton, Exeter and Derry City[edit]

Williams spent three seasons at Luton, before finishing his career at Exeter City, where he was also assistant manager to his former Southampton colleague, Alan Ball. His spell in management was not a happy experience and he retired in 1993, after a brief playing spell at Derry City where he made his League of Ireland debut against Shamrock Rovers on 10 October 1993.

After football[edit]

After retiring from football, he went into the magazine publishing business in Exeter. This turned out to be a very successful venture and he eventually sold out to a partner.

In 2003, he was involved in property development in Devon.

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Southampton
Arsenal

References[edit]

External links[edit]