Stuart Williams who served Saints as a full-back in 165 appearances between 1962 and 1966 and as manager Ted Bates’s assistant in the early 1970s, has died aged 83.
Towards the end of a 12-year career with West Bromwich Albion, Stuart represented Wales in the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden – all the way to a quarter-final v Brazil, in which he earned the accolade of “excellent” from Pelé, no less.
He had chalked up 33 appearances for Wales – he is still West Brom’s most-capped player – when Ted Bates brought him to The Dell. He was already 30 but would miss very few games at right-back until 1965-66, when he played more often on the left, while also gaining 10 more Welsh caps along the way.
Five years after hanging up his boots Stuart returned to The Dell in 1971, succeeding John Mortimore as Bates’s assistant until deciding in 1973 to try his luck coaching in Norway. He later worked in Southampton: as a rep’ with two tyre companies, in turn; and then as the financial controller at a transport business. He had settled near the Atherley Bowling Club, where he became a long-serving player and sometime president. Age was taking its toll on his bowling when the amputation of his right leg in 2011 put a final stop to his playing.
He has continued to be a social member of the club and, in 2013, organised a buffet-event there for a gathering of ex-Saints.
STUART GRENVILLE WILLIAMS
9th July 1930 - 5th November 2013