Greatest 50 Players - 38. Steve Williams

Greatest 50 Players - 38. Steve Williams

During his four-year spell at the club, it was often said that when Steve Williams played, invariably Arsenal would do too.

Williams was a local boy, a fan, and was bought to Highbury late in 1984 from Southampton by the then manager Don Howe. He made his debut against Tottenham on the first day of 1985 and went on to establish himself as a regular that season.

Injury hampered his second season at Arsenal but when George Graham arrived a year later Williams flourished, playing some of the best football of his career. He finished the campaign with a League Cup winner's medal after Liverpool were defeated at Wembley.

From the outset, Williams' unerring ability to pick out passes made him a Highbury favourite. He had guile and artistry but, equally, was uncompromising in the tackle. That could lead to run-ins with referees  and opponents but, when Williams' skills were to the fore, they were a joy to behold.

'Willow' was especially effective in a central-right position, linking with David Rocastle and Viv Anderson to often devastating effect. He could transform a patient, cul-de-sac of a move into a goalscoring opportunity, at his best, was one of the finest distributors of the ball in country.

International recognition duly came and Williams went on to win six caps for England, all earned while at the club. In July 1998, at the age of 30, he sought pastures new and moved to Kenilworth Road before finishing at Exeter City under Alan Ball.

This list of 50 Gunners Greatest Players was determined by tens of thousands of Arsenal fans from across the world. The vote took place on the club’s official website in 2008. To help prevent multiple voting by a single person, only registered members of Arsenal.com could take part.

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