Steve Williams (footballer, born 1958)
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|Full name||Steven Charles Williams|
|Date of birth||12 July 1958|
|Place of birth||Romford, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
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.
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.
In December 1984 Williams moved to Arsenal (the club he supported as a boy) for £550,000. 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
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.
In 2003, he was involved in property development in Devon.
As a player
- 1987 League Cup winner
- Steve Williams England profile at Englandstats