Rotherham, Yorkshire born right winger Joey Williams began his football career with hometown club Rotherham Town in 1920 before joining Second Division Rotherham County in 1921, making his Football League debut against Barnsley in November 1921, soon establishing himself in County’s first team. Although they were relegated in 1922-23, he was an ever present in their attempt at immediate promotion, as they finished fourth in the Third Division (North) in 1923-24. This was enough to persuade Herbert Chapman to sign him for First Division Huddersfield Town in the summer of 1924 after 8 goals in 101 appearances for Rotherham.
He was a regular as Huddersfield won back to back League Championships in 1924-25 and 1925-26, however after 6 goals in 60 appearances for The Terriers he was then sold to Stoke City in March 1926, nonetheless he was unable to save them from being relegated from the Second Division at the end of the season. He scored 6 times as Stoke won the Third Division (North) Championship in 1926-27 to immediately regain their Second Division status and after two further seasons in the Second Division, having toured South Africa with an FA XI (playing twice in unofficial test matches against the home nation) in the summer of 1929, on his return he moved to Arsenal, being signed once more by his former Huddersfield Town boss Herbert Chapman in September 1929. He had scored 17 goals in 86 appearances for The Potters.
Williams made his Arsenal debut in a 5-2 defeat at Aston Villa on 25th September 1929. The following month he played in the 1929 FA Charity Shield, for the Professionals against the Amateurs at The Den, which the Professionals won 3-0. Williams played sixteen times in the 1929-30 season, scoring three goals, and helped Arsenal on their run to the 1930 FA Cup Final. He was unfortunately injured in a match against Newcastle United at the start of April 1930 and consequently missed the Cup Final. Returning the following season, he made only nine appearances. These came as understudy to Joe Hulme and Cliff Bastin who had established themselves as first choice wingers, and he thus missed out on a third League Championship medal. Williams made one more appearance for Arsenal in a defeat to Sheffield United on Boxing Day 1931 before leaving to join Middlesbrough in March 1932, having played 26 games for Arsenal, scoring five goals.
Williams played with Middlesbrough for another four seasons, scoring 13 goals in 85 appearances for ‘Boro. He then joined Third Division (North) Carlisle United in the summer of 1935 where he ended his playing days in 1937 after scoring twice in 22 appearances for The Cumbrians.