The Welshman, who started down in Non-League lived everyone players’ dream of reaching Premier League football. And when he did reach the highest level, Williams played a key role in an exciting Swansea side.
Williams Announces Retirement
🏴 Diolch Capten 🏴
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) January 26, 2021
Ashley Williams: Forming the Surprise Package at Swansea
Led by the unforeseen talents of Michu; captained by the leadership of Williams, Swansea very nearly reach the greatest of heights during the 2012/13 season.
In the end, the Welshmen finished ninth with Michu’s goals galore alongside the rest of the Swansea side forming the surprise package of the season. Williams was the leader of that side and the many other sides that came after.
The heights of the 12/13 season will never be forgotten, though, as William lifted a high the League Cup at Wembley after defeating Bradford. The moment will remain perhaps the highest point of his time at the Liberty Stadium before swapping Swansea captaincy for Goodison Park.
The Lows at Everton
The move to Everton was meant to be a statement-making one; it was supposed to cement Williams’ place as a top-level central defender. But the move simply didn’t work out as planned after a couple of seasons.
Instead, it is a move the Welshman perhaps regrets. After eight years at Swansea filled with great success, a move to Everton for further glory ended with misery despite starting off on the right track. During his first season, Williams featured in all but two Premier League games.
One season later, however, and he was confined to just 24 appearances in the league. One season later, he moved on.
Captaining Wales to New Heights
His time at Swansea City will have a special place in Williams’ heart, but his time as Wales captain will forever be remembered as his greatest achievement as he led his country all the way to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Again, like at Swansea with Michu and Gylfi Sigurdsson, the stars such as Gareth Bale and Hal Robson-Kanu will be remembered, but, it was the leadership of Ashley Williams which led the underdog story.
At 36, he retires having performed on the biggest stages, gaining promotions and winning League Cups with Swansea alongside memories that will go down in Welsh history- all moments a player who originally began in Non-League will cherish.
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