Age: 44 years old.
Former clubs: Porthmadog, Bangor City, Aberystwyth Town, The New Saints, Rhyl FC, Newtown AFC and Airbus UK Broughton.
Honours: WPL all time top goal scorer (319 goals), 3 WPL winners medals, 2 Welsh Cup winners medals and 2 Welsh Premier League Golden Boot awards.
YET another new feature for AFEFootballNews and in this one I bring you information about some of the Welsh Premier League legends from years gone by. This edition focuses on one of the best there has ever been … Marc Lloyd Williams!
WILLIAMS is the WPL’s highest ever scorer with 319 goals in 468 appearances in Wales’ Premier Division and is often regarded as the best player to have ever graced it.
Despite the fact that he had something of a journeyman career in the Nationwide League (now National League or Conference), with clubs such as Stockport County, York City and Halifax, he never managed to quite emulate the success that he had playing in Wales.
However, in his home country he became a hero amongst many a fan.
He started out at Porthmadog, but arguably his most prolific spell came when playing for Bangor City between 1994 and 2002, in which he scored an incredible 120 goals in 162 appearances. He formed a prolific strike partnership with Frank Mottram and this saw him become a fans favourite at Farrar Road.
When he left Bangor, he had set records at the club that will be hard for anyone to beat. In two games, against Rhayader Town and Llanelli, he bagged six goals in each game. In the 2001/2 season, he scored a remarkable 47 goals and was voted Player of the Year by the Welsh Premier managers. His goals tally had put him in second place in the prestigious ESM Golden Shoe table for the whole of Europe, behind only Sporting Lisbon’s Mario Jardel.
However, despite having the most incredible campaign, “Jiws” saw his wages cut ahead of the following season and this led to a dispute that saw him eventually leave the Citizens for Southport. In an interview at the time, he explained that he had a child on the way and that the move to Southport offered lucrative money so he felt that the best option for him and his family was to leave.
“I was unhappy with the circumstances after they had promised they were going to keep me on the same wages. I’ve always got on great with the Bangor fans and I’m just sad that I’ve got to leave.” – Quote from Williams upon leaving Bangor City.
After a brief spell in Lancashire, he then returned to Bangor City once more. Yet again though, there were disputes and his love-hate affair with the club saw him leave for Aberystwyth Town at the end of the 2000/03 season after being placed on the transfer list by Peter Davenport.
A season at Park Avenue with the black and green’s brought another 18 goals, but his career was only truly rejuvenated by a move to TNS in the following summer.
After arriving at the club, he became the first player ever to score 200 Welsh Premier goals and again lifted the Welsh Premier League’s Golden Boot award with 34 goals at the end of 2004/05.
A move back to Bangor followed once again in the summer of 2006 and this saw Williams continue his scoring form, reaching the milestone of 250 goals thanks to a hat-trick against Haverfordwest in December. He was released at the end of the 2006/07 season, only to once again continue his goal scoring exploits with Newtown, before a surprise move to Rhyl in January 2008.
Released once more the following summer, he decided to return to his roots by signing for Porthmadog and was the club’s leading scorer with 22 goals before joining Airbus UK Broughton a year later. After a season at The Airfield, he re-joined Newtown in late 2010, before retiring at the end of the season as one of the best strikers, and indeed players to ever play in the Welsh Premier League.
A truly prolific striker who had an unbelievable eye for goal, “Jiws” will go down in WPL history eternally, even more so after being inducted into Sgorio’s Hall of Fame.
Many players of his height (5ft 7′) would have struggled with the demands of the physical side of the game, but Williams’ always dug deep and rolled his sleeves up to help earn the three points for his side, whichever side that may have been at the time.
Nowadays, a 44-year-old Williams, is a Sports lecturer at Bangor’s Coleg Menai campus and is also working with BBC Sport, often travelling from game to game keeping them updated with scores and events.
Breakdown of stats for Marc Lloyd Williams’ Welsh League career:
1992-93: Porthmadog FC – 37 apps, 6 goals.
1993-94: Porthmadog FC – 38 apps, 22 goals.
1994-95: Bangor City FC – 29 apps, 21 goals.
1996-97: Bangor City FC – 20 apps, 10 goals.
1997-98: Bangor City FC – 38 apps, 21 goals.
2000-01: Bangor City FC – 21 apps, 21 goals.
2001-02: Bangor City FC – 34 apps, 47 goals. WPL Golden Boot winner.
2002-03: Bangor City FC – 17 apps, 10 goals.
2003-04: Aberystwyth Town FC – 32 apps, 18 goals.
2004-05: Total Network Solutions (TNS) – 34 apps, 34 goals. WPL Golden Boot winner.
2005-06: Total Network Solutions (TNS) – 33 apps, 26 goals.
2006-07: Bangor City FC – 30 apps, 19 goals.
2007-08: Rhyl FC – 13 apps, 7 goals. Newtown AFC – 20 apps, 16 goals.
2008-09: Porthmadog FC – 33 apps, 24 goals.
2009-10: Airbus UK Broughton – 34 apps, 16 goals.
2010-11: Newtown AFC – 5 apps, 1 goal.
Keep an eye out on AFEFootballNews for further Legend’s Focus articles coming soon!