John Williams - the man who left players and politicians singing his praises at Blackburn

Daily Echo: John Williams - the man who left players and politicians singing his praises at Blackburn John Williams - the man who left players and politicians singing his praises at Blackburn

THE man linked with replacing Nicola Cortese at Saints once left players and politicians involved with Blackburn Rovers singing his praises.

Totton-born John Williams, 64, spent 14 years at Blackburn before leaving in the wake of the Venky family takeover in February 2001.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Brad Freidel hailed the club’s former executive chairman as “a club great” - up there with Jack Walker, the man whose money helped Blackburn win the 1994/95 Premier League title.

“While John Williams was with Blackburn, he did an impeccable, flawless job and I honestly don’t think anyone could have duplicated what he has done over the past decade,” Friedel said.

“John will have to go down very, very high up in the club’s history. In fact, I would put him up there with the club greats and only a little bit under Jack Walker.

“John was Jack’s right-hand man and his contribution can never be forgotten.”

Former Blackburn captain Chris Samba said the players regularly went to Williams, who had a reputation as one of the most approachable chairmen in the game.

“Every time we have a problem, we speak to John,” Samba said at the time of Williams’ departure almost three years ago.

“Every time we have something in our heart, we can speak to John. But he has gone and it will be a bit empty without him.”

Even former Home Secretary Jack Straw, a local MP and lifelong Blackburn fan, paid tribute to Williams when he left Ewood Park.

“John Williams helped dig us out of the Championship and ensured that Blackburn survived for one of the longest periods we’ve had in the top flight of football with very limited resources,” Straw said.

Comments (5)

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8:50am Mon 20 Jan 14

costa gaz says...

Exactly what is needed right now, he will not turn us into the worlds biggest/greatest club like Cortese was just about to do, but he'll steady the ship and gives us a dose of reality.
Exactly what is needed right now, he will not turn us into the worlds biggest/greatest club like Cortese was just about to do, but he'll steady the ship and gives us a dose of reality. costa gaz

9:13am Mon 20 Jan 14

jerseysaint says...

he can compose a few film themes as well
he can compose a few film themes as well jerseysaint

9:15am Mon 20 Jan 14

saintlysoccerette says...

Probably just another rumour doing the rounds.
Seems Saints are flavour of the month with themedia at the moment, and they seem hell-bent on spreading (and starting), rumours, most of which have no semblance of thruth in them!
Probably just another rumour doing the rounds. Seems Saints are flavour of the month with themedia at the moment, and they seem hell-bent on spreading (and starting), rumours, most of which have no semblance of thruth in them! saintlysoccerette

10:19am Mon 20 Jan 14

CB FRY LIVES says...

jerseysaint wrote:
he can compose a few film themes as well
He plays a mean classical guitar as well.Bring on the halftime recitals.
[quote][p][bold]jerseysaint[/bold] wrote: he can compose a few film themes as well[/p][/quote]He plays a mean classical guitar as well.Bring on the halftime recitals. CB FRY LIVES

8:33pm Mon 20 Jan 14

OnePostThenTheOther says...

Nottingham-born, Leeds-educated, London resident Straw became a "life-long" Rovers fan in his thirties when he took over the Labour safe-seat in his late thirties. Straw notably raised his visible affiliation with the club in the early 90s.

In contrast, the club's executive were Thatcherites, bestowing the late PM with the role of Honorary President. Since Jack's retirement from front bench politics nobody has noticed the impact this has had on the town or the club.

In John Williams you have got a good 'un and Venkys dropped a proper bllck when they were advised to force him out of the club by Kean and his equally scheming agent.
Nottingham-born, Leeds-educated, London resident Straw became a "life-long" Rovers fan in his thirties when he took over the Labour safe-seat in his late thirties. Straw notably raised his visible affiliation with the club in the early 90s. In contrast, the club's executive were Thatcherites, bestowing the late PM with the role of Honorary President. Since Jack's retirement from front bench politics nobody has noticed the impact this has had on the town or the club. In John Williams you have got a good 'un and Venkys dropped a proper bllck when they were advised to force him out of the club by Kean and his equally scheming agent. OnePostThenTheOther

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