Tommy Williams

Leicester City In 100 Players: Tommy Williams

John Hutchinson recalls Tommy Williams, a key defender for Leicester City despite two broken legs.

Williams made 271 appearances for City between 1977 and 1985. He was a committed, skilful, and versatile player who could play extremely effectively at centre-back, right-back and in midfield.

Tommy started training at Leicester when he was 12. He became an apprentice when he was 16 in July 1974 and signed professional forms in December 1975.

In October 1977, Jimmy Bloomfield’s successor as manager, the ex-Leicester City star Frank McLintock gave 19-year-old Tommy his debut in a First Division match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In what was a relegation season, Tommy went on to make 33 league and cup appearances that season, and when Jock Wallace took over the following season, he was again a virtual ever-present playing in a very youthful team. The following season, playing at right full-back, Tommy missed only one game and was a key member of the team which became Second Division champions in 1980.

In 1980/81, playing against some of the best teams in Europe, which included Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa who had all recently been European champions, Tommy starred in an otherwise struggling team, playing in every game. By his own admission, he loved playing against the top sides in the country.  

In 1981/82, City once again pushed for promotion and had a good run in the FA Cup. Tommy was again an ever-present in the team until he broke his leg in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park against Tottenham Hotspur.

He was out of the game for eight months and, when he made his comeback in December 1982, he broke his leg again in a training ground accident after only four games back in the first team. He was out of the game for another eight months. However, his determination and resilience was such that when he returned to the team in September 1983, now back in the top flight, he quickly demonstrated his determination, strength of character and versatility by re-establishing himself in the side as a full-back, centre-back and midfield player. The following season too, his commanding performances at centre-back alongside John O’Neill did much to keep Leicester in the top flight.

In October 1985, Tommy transferred to Birmingham City. His contribution to Leicester City was rewarded by a testimonial match just over a year later. He was held in such high esteem by Gary Lineker that the England star travelled back to Leicester from Barcelona to take part in the match.   

LATEST HEADLINES

LATEST PHOTOS

LATEST VIDEOS

Leicester City Crest

LATEST HEADLINES

LATEST VIDEOS

LATEST PHOTOS