Born on 25 November 1844 in Arnold Grove, William Williams was a right-hand batsman and round-arm right-arm fast bowler who was educated at Oundle School. He was in the school eleven from 1859 to 1861, being captain for at least one season. The following notice appeared in the Nottingham Review concerning a match, Arnold v Sherwood Forest, at the Old Spot in July 1858, “Mr W Williams bowling for Arnold was the theme of general admiration – his graceful yet effective delivery at the stumps convinced some of the favourite bats, that he was no novice although quite a youth.”
Williams appeared for the XXII Colts in April 1862, scoring 21 in the second innings. Later that summer he made his First-Class debut for the Gentlemen of the North v Gentlemen of the South making 12 and 23 and taking 0-28 and 0-14. His initial First-Class game for Notts was versus Cambridgeshire at Lord’s on 18 and 19 July 1864. He played in two other First-Class matches for Notts that year but did not reappear for Notts until a solitary appearance in 1871. In June 1873, he hit 37 for the Next XV v Notts and was tried in three Notts games that year with little luck. He did, however, hit 40 in a second Next XV v Notts match in August 1873. He made his final three First-Class appearances for Notts in 1875 where against Surrey at Trent Bridge in June he scored his highest first-class score of 31. His last county game was for Notts v Middlesex at Prince’s in Chelsea in July 1875. In nine First-Class matches for Notts he scored 111 runs @7.40 and bowled 0-8. Williams made one last appearance for Notts against the XXII Colts in April 1876. His last First-Class appearance was for an England XI versus Players of the North at Dewsbury in 1878. In 15 First-Class matches, he scored 239 runs @9.19 and took 3 wickets @30.66. His best bowling was 2-27 for the Gentlemen of the North versus Gentlemen of the South at the Cattle Market Ground in Islington in 1867.
Most of his club cricket was for Bestwood Park CC but he also appeared for the following: All England Eleven (1862-75), Free Foresters (1865), United England Eleven (1866), Arnold (1867), Nottingham Commercial Club (1868-74), Radcliffe on Trent (1870), Sutton-in-Ashfield (1871), Beeston (1875), United North of England Eleven (1876) and Spalding (1877).
Williams was a solicitor residing in Arnold and died in Wandsworth in London aged 40 years on 12 March 1885.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 106