William Williams was recruited from the Furner Football Club in the Millicent Association in South Eastern South Australia where he played in ruck.
He was described in glowing terms in an article in The Express and Telegraph: “An exceedingly strong man – champion at weightlifting and cable tossing and a first class Sheffield runner.” Williams was expected to be a valuable addition to Norwood’s ruck strength.
Having impressed in the trials, his inclusion in the first round was thwarted by an ankle injury. As it turned out, round one matches were postponed due to the death of King Edward V11. The ankle injury was to put a blight on his future.
Originally Williams was not chosen for the round two game against West Adelaide due to the injury but, when Crowe pulled out due to illness, he was brought into the side. Reports suggested he played quite well, kicking a goal and being part of a Norwood side that defeated last year’s premiers. However, reports also mentioned how at times Williams struggled with his troublesome ankle.
He missed the following week’s game against North Adelaide but returned the week after when Norwood thrashed South Adelaide by ten goals.
Williams then headed off to Tasmania for two weeks with the Norwood side that played two games; one against South Tasmania in Hobart and the other against North Tasmania in Launceston. He played in both games which were unfortunately lost.
On return his ankle injury worsened, so much so his season was over and indeed so was his career at Norwood. The Advertiser summed things up by simply writing, “William has had bad luck with his ankle since coming to Adelaide.”
William Williams was born at Millicent on 20 August 1883, the son of Robert and Margaret (Mullins). William married Kate Ferguson at Portland (Victoria) in 1914. He died on 29 November 1966 and is buried in the Millicent cemetery.
B Ridge January 2021
* For the picture and other information we thank the Williams family and Colleen Hammat, researcher for the South-East Family History Group