John Williams (footballer, born 1960)

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John Williams
Personal information
Full name William John Williams[1]
Date of birth (1960-10-03) 3 October 1960 (age 55)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1985 Tranmere Rovers 173 (13)
1985–1986 Port Vale 50 (3)
1986–1991 Bournemouth 117 (9)
1991 Wigan Athletic (loan) 4 (0)
1991–1993 Cardiff City[2] 6 (0)
Total 350 (25)
Teams managed
1994 Bournemouth (caretaker)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

John Williams (born William John Williams on 3 October 1960) is an English former football centre back, who now works as a radio commentator. He made 350 league appearances in a 15-year career in the Football League, scoring 25 goals.

He began his career at Tranmere Rovers, playing 201 games in all competitions between 1978 and July 1985, when he made a £12,000 move to Port Vale. He helped the "Valiants" to promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1985–86, before being sold on to Bournemouth for £30,000 in December 1986. He helped the "Cherries" to the Third Division championship in 1986–87, before moving on to Cardiff City in 1991, following a loan spell at Wigan Athletic. Cardiff won the Third Division title in 1992–93, after which he returned to Bournemouth as a coach. He served the club as caretaker-manager in August 1994.

Playing career[edit]

After playing as an amateur Williams signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1979 under the stewardship of John King. However he established himself as a regular under Bryan Hamilton during the 1980–81 season, as the club were forced to apply for re-election. They rose to 11th in 1981–82, dropping to 19th in 1982–83, two places and one point above the re-election zone. The "Superwhites" rose to 10th in 1983–84, before a sixth-place finish in 1984–85, two places and nine points behind promoted Bury. He played a total of 201 league and cup games during his time at Prenton Park, scoring 13 goals.

In July 1985, Port Vale paid £12,000 to secure his services.[1] He played regularly during the club's 1985–86 Fourth Division promotion campaign, scoring three goals in 44 appearances.[1] However he lost his form the following season, playing 18 games at Vale Park, before being sold to Bournemouth for £30,000 in December 1986,[1] where he became a popular player with the club's fans.[3] In 2008, Harry Redknapp described him as possibly the best signing he had made in his 25-year management career.[4] Under his leadership, the "Cherries" won the Third Division championship in 1986–87 with 97 points. They retained their Second Division status in 1987–88 with a 17th-place finish, before the Dean Court side finished 12th in 1988–89, only to suffer relegation in 1989–90 after finishing two points behind the safety mark set by Middlesbrough. Bournemouth finished ninth in 1990–91, finishing two places and six points outside the play-offs.

He played four games for former manager Bryan Hamilton on loan at Wigan Athletic, and later signed with Cardiff City in 1991. Williams remained at Ninian Park for 1991–92 and 1992–93, helping Eddie May's "Bluebirds" to the Third Division title in 1993. However he was never a regular in the first team, making just six league appearances. He then returned to Bournemouth as a member of the coaching staff.[5] He worked for Bournemouth as their community development officer and later assistant manager.[1] He served as caretaker manager in August 1994, between the terms of Tony Pulis and Mel Machin.


Williams now works for BBC Radio Solent as a summariser/co-commentator for Bournemouth matches.[6]

Managerial statistics[edit]

Team From To Record
G W L D Win %
Bournemouth 5 August 1994 1 September 1994 5 1 0 4 20.00
Total 5 1 0 4 20.00


with Port Vale
with Bournemouth
with Cardiff City


  1. ^ a b c d e Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 312. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ J. Rollin, Guinness Soccer Who's Who , 1991, p. 369
  3. ^ "Cherries' Legends Gallery". BBC Dorset. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Portsmouth | Redknapp marks 25-year milestone". BBC News. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "CARDIFF CITY : 1946/47 - 2007/08". Neil Brown stat site. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  6. ^ "BBC RADIO SOLENT ANNOUNCE DEAL". 12 Nov 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 

External links[edit]