Williams John “Jimmy” Image 2 Crystal Palace 1912

Williams John “Jimmy” Image 2 Crystal Palace 1912


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Buckley, Flintshire born inside forward John “Jimmy” (also known as “Ginger”) Williams began his senior football career on the books of First Division Bury in 1906-07 although he didn’t make a first team appearance for them. He joined Accrington Stanley in 1907 before impressing on trial with Second Division club Birmingham. Williams signed for them in August 1908, and made his Football League debut at inside left in a 3-1 win at home to Bradford Park Avenue on 7th September 1908. He was given a decent run of games in the first team but failed to impress, and returned to Accrington Stanley in February 1909 having scored 3 goals in 12 appearances.

In June 1909, he moved to Southern League Crystal Palace, where his best position was centre forward or inside right, though he was capable of playing in any forward role. Described as “an eager, neat and busy little footballer who possessed a snappy tackle and plenty of enthusiasm and determination”, he scored 58 goals from 149 appearances in all competitions, including scoring five in one match against Southend United in September 1909. Williams remained with the club for nearly five seasons, during which time he won two caps for Wales.Williams made his international debut for Wales in the 1912 British Home Championship against Scotland at Tynecastle on 2nd March 1912 in a match Wales lost 1-0. His second cap came in a 3-2 defeat at Ninian Park against Ireland the following month.

In February 1914 he joined Southern League Millwall Athletic and remained with the club until the outbreak of the First World War. He enlisted in the 17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (The Footballers’ Battalion) and served in Northern France.. Reported missing presumed dead on 5th June 1916, he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial and at Millwall’s stadium. His death in action was reported in The New York Times.

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