Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Williams: Harold

1949-1957 (Player Details)


Born: Briton Ferry, Glamorgan: 17-06-1924

Debut: Queens Park Rangers (h): 20-08-1949

5’4” 8st 11lb (1953)

As a boy Williams was rejected by Swansea Town after trials, but he made War-time guest appearances for Belfast Celtic and Cliftonville. When he was demobbed from the Royal Navy, where he served on destroyers, he signed for Briton Ferry Athletic and joined Newport County in November 1946. He first came to the attention of Leeds United when he roasted them in an FA Cup-tie as a Newport player in January 1949. The Welsh minnows pulled off a shock 3-1 win at Elland Road, inspired by Williams, who had been up in the early hours of the day to complete his milkround before travelling to Leeds. Major Buckley paid £12,000 for him in July 1949 which was quite a high fee at the time. He scored seventeen goals in seventy-five League games while at Somerton Park. The nippy winger with the size five and a half boots could dribble with both feet and was therefore employed on either wing. It was his ability to switch wings at will that made him such a creative and talented player who made many goals for Len Browning, and later John Charles, with his pinpoint crosses as well as being a regular scorer himself. Initially he played on the left wing for Leeds as the mercurial David Cochrane was operating on the right and was an integral part of the fine Leeds side of 1949/50, which made United's best every run In the F.A. Cup, only to fall to the mighty Arsenal at Highbury in the Sixth Round after a titanic tussle. The team came very close to gaining promotion, and but for a terrible start to the season, in which they won just one game in eleven, they most surely would have. The twinkletoed Welshman was one of the reasons for their success and tied many a class full back in knots, including England's Alf Ramsey. With ten League goals, he finished second behind Frank Dudley, who had twelve in the goalscoring charts that season and he added another three and Dudley four in the F.A. Cup. With Williams on the right flank but easily switching to the left, United had a succession of wingers in Peter Harrison and George Meek who also had the ability to operate on both flanks and they were the Leeds wingers until Jackie Overfield established himself on the left flank in the promotion season of 1955-56. Williams already had two Welsh caps when he joined Leeds, having represented his country on 9th March 1949 in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast and in Bern on 26th May 1949 when the Welsh suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Switzerland. He added a couple more during his stay at Elland Road, playing in a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on 8th March 1950, in the game John Charles made his Welsh International debut, and a 3-1 defeat by Scotland at Ninian Park Cardiff on 21st October 1950. A regular in the Leeds team, he fought back from a broken leg sustained in a game against Everton at Goodison Park on 22nd November 1952 to reclaim his first team place for the start of the 1953-54 season. He was able to re-establish his role as provider of accurate crosses for the rampant John Charles as the team produced an avalanche of goals, with Charles setting the Leeds goalscoring record of forty-two goal (in only thirty-nine games) and Williams chipping in eight goals to be joint third goalscorer, with Bob Forrest, as Albert Nightingale notched seventeen. The following season saw promotion for United, but the talented winger's career was coming to a close and, although he scored twice in nineteen games, George Meek and Jackie Overfield finished the season as the established wingers and were to be the ones to grace the First Division and supply the ammunition for Charles, who scored thirty eight times in his forty games in his first season in the top flight. In March 1957 Williams returned to Newport County but left Somerton Park after only three months and just ten League games to join Bradford Park Avenue, where his career ended after a succession of injuries and fifteen League appearances. He moved into the licence trade, running the Railway Pub at Beeston, near Elland Road, and a pub in Gildersome before retiring in 1986. He, John Charles and Jimmy Dunn were firm friends and all three regularly attended all United’s games at Elland Road.

League 21032
F.A. Cup 173