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Top facts about Ashley Williams, the late bloomer

Mon 26 July 2021 | 9:00

Ashley Williams is a retired professional footballer who played as a centre-back during his career. Read on to find out more facts about Ashley Williams, the former Wales and Swansea City captain.

Ashley Errol Williams was born on 23 August 1984, meaning that

Ashley Williams' age

is 36. He spent his entire club career in England and mostly with

Swansea City

.

Everton sealed the signing of Ashley Williams from Swansea City in a deal reportedly worth £9m on 10th August 2016, just three days before the start of the 2016-17 season.

He made his international debut for the Wales national team on 26 March 2008, two days before securing his move to Swansea City.

Williams played in the lower leagues of English football for much of the first part of his career and not making his debut for the national side until 2008 at the age of 24.

By the time he stepped away from the national stage in 2019, he’d made 86 appearances for his country, most of them as captain.

Injuries and age forced him to call time on his career at the age of 36 after being released by

Bristol City

last year, but he is looking into taking coaching qualifications.

The followings are some facts about Ashley Williams:

The first

fact about Ashley Williams

is that he was discovered by the football world at the age of 24, which is almost unique as good players are signed up so young that it almost never happens anywhere.

Ashley Williams early life

Ashley Errol Williams, born 23 August 1984, is a former Welsh professional footballer; he decided to hang his shoes in January 2021.

Williams played for Hednesford Town, Stockport County, Swansea City, Everton,

Stoke City

and Bristol City during his club career.

The fact about

Ashley Williams' childhood

is that he was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, where is the second most populous county in England.

About

Ashley Williams' parents

it should be mentioned that there is no exact information on his parents but he's of Afro-Jamaican descent through his dad and of Welsh descent through his mom.

Ashley was interested in football from a very young age and he watched Premier League matches since his childhood.

Ashley Williams personal life

Another fact about

Ashley Williams' personal life

is that he is married to Vanessa Williams; there is no exact information on the date of their marriage.

About Ashley Williams' children, it should be mentioned that he has two sons, Xavier and Raphael.

Ashley Williams professional career

Ashley Williams’ professional career could easily have gone another way. Until he moved to Swansea in 2008, at the age of 24, he was playing for Stockport County in League Two.

When he joined Swansea, they were a League One club for whom Premier League football was a distant dream. Five years earlier, he was playing for Hednesford Town and supporting himself by working part time in a petrol station.

Ashley who was born in Wolverhampton thought of himself as English. He qualified for Wales through his maternal grandfather but could also have played for Jamaica through his father. However, he opted for Wales and never looked back.

Ashley Williams club career

The fact about Ashley Williams' club career is that he began his career at

West Bromwich Albion

youth side, but he was released by the club in 2000 at the age of 16.

Hednesford Town

After being released from West Bromwich Albion youth team, Williams went on to play for Hednesford Town which is based in Hednesford, Staffordshire, England.

During the 2001-02 season which was his first with the club, Williams played in only four matches at all competitions and they placed sixteenth among 22 clubs in the Premier Division of Southern Football League.

In the following season Ashley Williams became one of the members of main squad and he managed to play 42 appearances at all competitions with the club and Hednesford Town placed 11th in the League table.

Stockport County

Ashley Williams left the club to join Division Two side 

Stockport County

in late 2003. During his first season with the club, Williams played 10 League matches and they placed 19th in the Second Division table.

During the 2004-05 season Ashley Williams was one of the main defenders of the club and played 47 matches at all competitions, he missed only two matches of League One during that season.

On 18 December 2004, Ashley Williams scored the first goal of his club career in a 3-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons during League One competitions.

They earned only 26 points from 46 matches in the League One competitions and placed 24th in the League table and were relegated to the League Two.

In the following season, Williams played in 36 League Two appearances, he managed to score a goal in a 2-1 victory against Wrexham on 15 April 2006.

They earned 52 points and were placed 22nd in the League Two table; they were also knocked out of FA Cup in the third round against

Brentford

.

In the following season, Williams participated in all 46 League Two matches and helped his side to become eighth in the League Two table which was a great progress for the club.

In November 2007, Ashley Williams won the inaugural North-West League Two Player of the Year Award and also the North-West Player of the Year Award due to his performances in that year.

He scored one goal during that season in a 3-1 win against Rochdale on 28 October 2006.

The 2007-08 season was his last with the club; he managed to play in 26 League Two matches for the club and didn't finish the season with them.

Swansea City

In March 2008, Ashley Williams joined League One club, Swansea City, on a loan deal until the end of the 2007–08 season, with a view to a permanent move.

Williams played in only three League One matches but Swansea City managed to win the League One title and promoted to the Championship for the first time in 24 years.

The fact about Ashley Williams' transfer to Swansea is that he joined the club for a reported £400,000, which was a club record transfer fee at the time.

During the 2008-09 season, Williams participated in all 46 Championship matches for the club and they were placed eighth in the table with 68 points.

Williams scored his first goal for Swansea on 16 September 2008 in a 1-1 home draw against Derby County at the Championship competitions.

He scored his second goal for The Swans on 13 April 2009, in a 3-1 away win against

Barnesley

during the Championship competitions.

Williams’ great performances at the club impressed everyone and eventually he was named Wales Footballer of the Year at an FAW awards in November 2009. Ashley Williams also managed to win the Clubman of the Year award at the same event.

In the following season, Williams scored five times in 46 Championship appearances which was a great record for a center-back player.

At the end of season, they were placed seventh in the Championship table and missed out on a play-off position by just one point, Williams was selected as a member of the 2009–10 Championship PFA Team of the Year.

The 2010-11 season was a great year for Williams and Swansea City as they promoted to the Premier League.

The fact about Ashley Williams' performance during the 2010-11 season is that he managed to score three goals in 46 Championship matches and was named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year for the second consecutive season.

His side placed third in the Championship table to qualify for the Championship Play-Offs.

They reached to the final match by defeating

Nottingham Forest

and in the final match they managed to defeat Reading 4-2 at Wembley Stadium to qualify for the Premier League competitions.

Another

fact about Ashley Williams

' performance in that season is that he managed to equal and surpass a club record of 106 consecutive appearances, formerly jointly held by Andy Legg and Gilbert Beech.

Ashley Williams scored his first Premier League goal on 24 September 2011 in a 4-1 loss against Chelsea, after heading in a Mark Gower free kick.

In the first Premier League season, Williams and his teammates managed to earn 47 points and they were placed 11th in the Premier League table.

Ashley Williams signed a new three-year contract with the club in October 2012. The 2012-13 season was their second season in the Premier League and Williams and his side finished the season in ninth place of the table.

That season became very special for Ashley Williams and Swansea City fans as they won their first major trophy in English football.

Williams and his side defeated

Liverpool

in the Round of 16 and managed to win Chelsea in the Semi-Finals to reach the final match of League Cup.

On 24 February 2013, Ashley Williams captained his side in the final match against

Bradford City

. Swansea won the match 5-0 to win the title at Wembley and Williams lifted the trophy with club captain Garry Monk.

He was permanently granted the club captaincy in July 2013, after performing as captain for the majority of Swansea's matches during the previous two seasons.

He signed a new four-year contract with the club on 4 July 2014. Williams was selected as a member of the Team of the Decade at the Football League Awards on 19 April 2015.

Williams played his last match for the club on 1 May 2016 in a 3-1 home victory against Liverpool.

The fact about Ashley Williams career at Swansea is that he spent most of his club career with them; he played nine years for The Swans from 2007 to 2016. He won his one and only major trophy of his club career with Swansea.

Everton

Ashley Williams joined another Premier League club, Everton, on 10 August 2016 for a £12 million transfer fee and played his first match for the club ten days later where they won West Bromwich Albion 2-1.

On 13 December, Williams scored his first goal for The Toffees with an 86th-minute header to protect a 2–1 win in an important match against 

Arsenal

.

In the 2017-18 season, Williams made his Europa League debut on 28 September 2017 in a 2-2 draw against Apollon Limassol.

He scored his first goal in the Europa League tournament in their 2–1 group stage home loss to Lyon on 19 October 2017.

Loan to Stoke City

Williams joined Championship club, Stoke City, on loan for the 2018-19 season on 2 August 2018.

He scored his first and only goal for the club on 22 April 2019 in a 2–2 draw with Norwich City.

Williams played 37 appearances for Stoke at all competitions and at the end of the 2018-19 season he was released by Everton.

Bristol City

On 23 August 2019, Ashley Williams signed a short-term contract with another Championship club, Bristol City that would run till "mid-January".

He played his first match for the club against former team Stoke, before making his first home appearance versus longtime previous employers Swansea.

Williams scored his first goal for the club on 1 November 2019 in a 2–2 draw against Barnsley. His second goal for Bristol was scored on 30 November 2019 in a 5-2 victory over Huddersfield.

In November 2019, Williams signed an extended deal until the end of the 2019–20 season.  He left the club at the end of the season on the expiration of his contract.

Ashley Williams informed his retirement from professional football on 26 January 2021, at the age of 36.

Ashley Williams international career

Ashley Williams qualified for the Wales national team through his maternal grandfather Bill Rowlands from Gelli, Rhondda where is in South Wales.

The fact about Ashley Williams' international career is that he made his international debut two days before joining Swansea City on 26 March 2008.

Williams played the full 90 minutes in their 2–0 friendly away win against 

Luxembourg

, making an early fault through a poor back pass to goalkeeper Lewis Price, but recovered possession in time.

Ashley Williams scored an own goal in a 2-0 loss against Germany  in a qualification match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, deflecting Mario Gomez's cross at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Wales national team placed fourth in the group stage of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification and didn't qualify for the tournament.

Ashley Williams scored his first goal for Wales national team on 11 October 2010, in a 5–1 friendly win over Luxembourg in Parc y Scarlets Stadium, finishing a header from debutant Steve Morison.

On 14 November 2009, Williams captained the country for the first time in a 3–0 friendly win over Scotland at the Cardiff City Stadium.

In October 2012 Wales national team manager, Chris Coleman, awarded the captain armband to Williams due to his experience over the younger

Aaron Ramsey

. This decision was blamed by Raymond Verheijen, the assistant to Coleman's predecessor, Gary Speed.

Wales national team didn't qualify for the Euro 2012 and FIFA World Cup 2014 competitions but finally they managed to qualify for the Euro 2016 competitions which was their  first major tournament for more than half a century.

Captaining the Red Dragons at the 2016 European Championships in France was undoubtedly the highlight of Williams' international career.

Wales managed to advance to knockout phase as the first team of group B with six points, a group which was regarded as one of the hardest with England, Slovakia and Russia alongside Wales.

Most football fans know Real Madrid player, Gareth Bale, who did a great job for Wales during Euro 2016 and his remarkable performances alongside other stars like Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams led the Wales national team to the semi-final of this tournament which was just unbelievable.

Williams suffered a bad shoulder injury in the round of 16 match against Northern Ireland, his great mentality became clear to everyone when he got up and played the whole match as they won 1-0 with Gareth McAuley's own goal in the 75th minute of the match.

On 1 July 2016 Wales faced Belgium in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, honestly anyone didn't stand a chance for Wales and the first goal of the match was scored by Radja Nainggolan for Belgium in the 13th minute.

Ashley Williams scored the most important goal of his football career as he headed the equalizing goal in the 31st minute, against Belgium as Wales eventually won 3–1 to progress to the semi-finals for the first time in their international football history.

Wales lost 2-0 to

Portugal

in the semi-final match and didn't reach the final but all football fans around the world enjoyed their great performances in the tournament and they were named as the biggest surprise of the Euro 2016.

His last international match was on 11 June 2019, in a 1-0 away loss against Hungary in the European Qualifiers.

The fact about Ashley Williams' international stats is that he played 86 appearances and scored two goals for country, he's the fifth most capped player in the history of Wales national team behind Chris Gunter,

Gareth Bale

, Wayne Hennessey and Neville southall.

Ashley Williams stats

Ashley Williams played three seasons for Southern League Premier Division club, Hednesford Town, from 2001 to 2003.

Williams played 60 matches in all competitions for Hednesford Town club and 46 of them were League appearances.

In 2003, Williams joined to Football League Second Division club, Stockport County, the club which he played for until 2008.

During his first season with the club, he played in only 10 League appearances. In the following season Williams played in 47 appearances at all competitions for the club.

He played in 44 League One appearances during the 2004-05 season and managed to score a goal and also made an assist.

In the following season, Ashley Williams played 36 League Two appearances for the club and managed to score a goal, he also provided two assists.

Williams played 46 League Two appearances during the 2006-07 season and managed score only one goal and also made two assists.

In the following season, Williams played 26 League Two appearances for the club and two League Cup matches.

During five seasons playing for Stockport County, Williams played in 170 appearances at all competitions and managed to score three times and also provided five assists for his teammates.

Williams joined to League One club, Swansea City, in March 2008 and played in only three league appearances until the end of 2007-08 season.

From 2008 to 2011, Ashley Williams played in 138 Championship appearances for the club and didn't miss even a single league match for three seasons.

In three seasons playing at Championship, Williams managed to score ten goals for Swansea City and he also made four assists.

From 2011 to 2016, Ashley Williams played in 181 Premier League appearances for Swansea and managed to score four times, he also made three assists for his teammates.

Williams played nine seasons for Swansea City club and during these years he played in 352 appearances at all competitions, he scored 14 times and made 7 assists during his spell with the club.

Ashley Williams joined another Premier League club in 2016; he joined to Everton where he played for two seasons.

Williams played in 73 appearances at all competitions during his two seasons with Everton and managed to score three times and also made five assists.

He joined Championship club, Stoke City, for the 2018-19 season and in his one and only season with the club Williams played in 37 appearances at all competitions and managed to score once and also provided one assist.

Ashley Williams spent the last season of his club career with Bristol City club. He played in 33 appearances at all competitions during the 2019-20 season and managed to score twice, he also provided two assists.

The noticeable

fact about Ashley Williams

' stats is that he played in 241 Premier League matches from 2011 to 2018 for Swansea City and Everton.

Williams also participated in 203 Championship appearances from 2008 to 2020 for Swansea City, Stoke City and Bristol City.

Some quick facts about Ashley Williams

About Ashley Williams' age it should be mentioned that he was born on 23 August 1984, this means that he's 36 years old.

The fact about Ashley Williams' play-style is that he was a physically strong centre-back, who played on the left-hand side of central defense and also as a right-sided centre-back.

He was influential both at club and international level and he is regarded as one of the best defenders in the history of Wales international team.

Williams was a strong and imposing defender with great physical power, he was also an extremely smart and elegant player, with remarkable balance, vision and passing ability for a defender.

When he played for Hednesford Town, he worked part-time jobs including a waiter at Beefeater, working at a petrol station and running a sideshow at Drayton Manor.

Ashley Williams is an active person off the field too; he has a big impact on the communities around him.

Ashley and his wife Vanessa established the charity WillsWorld In December 2010 to help special children.

Ashley Williams is a patron of numerous charities including Street Football Wales, a charity which fights against social exclusion; the Ethan Perkins Trust, a charity that raises money for research and awareness of childhood brain tumors.

When Ashley was a child he supported Liverpool and his idol and favorite player was John Barnes. He's also a fan of basketball and supports the Miami Heat.

After his retirement he works as a TV pundit and radio host on BBC Sport and BBC 5 Live Sport.

Ashley Williams social media

About

Ashley Williams social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@ashley.williams84

) and has 15.6K followers on Instagram. Williams mostly posts pictures from himself and his friends and former teammates.

Ashley Williams body measurements

About

Ashley Williams body measurements

, it should be mentioned that there is no exact information on his body measurements but he stands 1.83 m tall.

Ashley Williams net worth

Speaking about

Ashley Williams net worth

, it should be mentioned that his net worth estimates to be around $1 Million - $5 Million in 2021.

His highest market value was £7.65 million in 2013 when he was 28 and played for Swansea City in the Premier League.

 

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