Gareth Williams (footballer, born 1981)

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Gareth Williams
Gareth williams.jpg
Personal information
Full name Gareth John Williams
Date of birth (1981-12-16) 16 December 1981 (age 37)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Centre Midfielder
Youth career
1995–1999 Nottingham Forest
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2004 Nottingham Forest 142 (9)
2004–2007 Leicester City 78 (6)
2007–2009 Watford 3 (0)
Total 223 (15)
National team
2001–2003 Scotland U21 9 (0)
2003 Scotland B 1 (0)
2002 Scotland 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Gareth John Williams (born 16 December 1981) is a Scottish former professional footballer. He was capped 5 times for his country and last played for Watford in the Premier League. His career was blighted and ultimately ended by knee injuries.

Club career

Nottingham Forest

Williams started his career at Nottingham Forest, a product of the club's youth system, where he played alongside Jermaine Jenas and David Prutton. While at Forest, Williams was described as the "best passer at the club" by former England player and City Ground manager David Platt.[citation needed]

During the 2001-02 season, Williams was named the club's player of the year, in a season which also saw him achieve the first of his 5 full caps for his country.

Leicester City

Williams signed a three-year deal with Leicester City in July 2004. The transfer fee was decided by tribunal due to his age and the player being a free agent. Williams' agent later confirmed the decision of the tribunal was around £1 million, rising if the Foxes achieved promotion to the Premiership.

Having spent almost two and a half years with City, and his contract up at the end of the 2007-08 season, the club sold Williams to Premiership side Watford for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £600,000, on 31 January 2007. It was later reported that the player was one of the club's top earners.[1]

Watford

On 3 February 2007 he made his Premiership debut for Watford against Bolton Wanderers.[2] He only played for Watford a further two times, before sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage during a match against Chelsea in April 2007, an injury that kept him out of action for the remainder of the 2007–08 season.

Although recovering the following season, he has since suffered further setbacks due to the seriousness of the injury and in total endured six knee operations within a period of 18 months. Williams was treated by knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in America. Failing to recover fully he was released by Watford when his contract expired in May 2009 and later trained with Major League Soccer sides San Jose Earthquakes in July 2009 and New England Revolution in March 2010 in an attempt to achieve a return to full fitness, before retiring later in the year.

International career

Williams captained the Scotland Under-21 team and won the first of his five full caps against Nigeria at Pittodrie in April 2002. Until this point, he had been eligible to play for Wales due to his Welsh grandfather.

References

  1. ^ "Williams completes Watford switch". BBC News. 31 January 2007.
  2. ^ "Tactical Formation". Football-Lineups.com. Retrieved 8 February 2007.

External links

  • Gareth Williams at Soccerbase
  • Gareth Williams profile at watfordfc.com
  • Scotland U21 stats at Fitbastats
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