Since Alex Williams of Man City was one of the first black goalkeepers in the current top division, he encountered more difficulties throughout his career.
The Man City custodian received horrific abuse at Everton. Some fans showed burning crosses at him imitating members of the Ku Klux Klan. This was on top of the regular, whether intentional or not, racism he experienced from his neighbours or teammates.
The only thing that truly knocked the 6’4″ behemoth Williams to the ground was an injury that ended his career and left him unable to function. It was terrible for him to continue playing with crippling leg pain because of an undiagnosed slipped disc in his spine. It became even more difficult to try to recover from the injury. The injury ultimately forced him to end his career at the age of 25.
In his recently published memoirs, Alex William stated
“As 1986 dawned, I was low and returning to football was well down my list of priorities. Although the surgery had gone well, my body was battered. I left hospital limping badly.”
He further added
“I left with mental scars as well, though they would heal in time. Concerned about my general health, I questioned if I would be able to function normally after I recovered. I had overcome adversity on the racial front before, but this presented a new challenge. I was incapable of leaving the house, giving me plenty of time to contemplate what kind of life lay ahead.”
Former Man City Goalie’s struggle against racism
The 1980s were a particularly turbulent decade, with racism and hooliganism rampant amid social and economic inequalities. This book is a must-read for all readers, as it portrays the tensions and politics that existed in football teams during that time. Williams takes us onto the fields, into the locker rooms, and recalls important events in his career before reflecting on how his views have evolved over time.
Williams has also devoted many hours to aiding others. After 40 years of service, he finally leaves City this month. During his time there, he took great pride in developing goalkeepers like Kasper Schmeichel and Daniel Grimshaw.
Pep Guardiola examined William’s career after moving to Manchester in 2016 in order to better grasp the club’s culture.
Williams is leaving Man City in the Community on a high note. He also added some more unforgettable events, including handing out Premier League medals to Erling Haaland and Company in May. It is hoped that the two significant challenges Williams faced will be reduced as a result of people learning from his experiences. The physical and mental wellbeing of players is now given more consideration. Currently, there are many black goalkeepers in the Premier League.
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