|Full name||Paul Darren Williams|
|Date of birth||26 March 1971|
|Place of birth||Burton upon Trent, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back, midfielder|
| Norwich City U18|
|1989||→ Lincoln City (loan)||3||(0)|
|2001||→ Southampton (loan)||1||(0)|
|2016||Nottingham Forest (caretaker)|
|2016||England U20 (caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Paul Darren Williams (born 26 March 1971) is an English former professional footballer, who is currently head coach of Norwich City U18. As a player, he was a centre back and midfielder from 1989 until 2005, most notably in the Premier League for Coventry City and Southampton, as well as in the Football League for Derby County and Stoke City. Upon his retirement he moved into coaching, working in the academies at Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers and with the England youth teams. He served Nottingham Forest as caretaker manager late in the 2015–16 season.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk, that competes in the Premier League, the top division of English football. The club was founded in 1902. Since 1935, Norwich have played their home games at Carrow Road and have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town, with whom they have contested the East Anglian derby 134 times since 1902. The fans' song "On the Ball, City" is the oldest football chant in the world, written in 1890 and still sung today.
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards. Some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation; the collective group of these players on the field is sometimes referred to as the midfield.
Born in Burton upon Trent, Williams began his career as a forward with First Division club Derby County and after moving back into midfield he made his debut during the 1989–90 season,making 10 appearances and scoring his first goal for the club. By 1991, Derby had been relegated to the Second Division and Williams stepped up to score league 13 goals during the 1991–92 season, including a memorable hattrick in a 3–1 victory over Watford on 29 February 1992. His goals helped the Rams to a place in the playoffs, but the club's season ended after defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the semi-finals.
Burton upon Trent, also known as Burton-on-Trent or simply Burton, is a large industrialised market town and administrative centre for East Staffordshire. On the River Trent in Staffordshire, England, close to the border with Derbyshire. In 2011, it had a population of 72,299. The demonym for residents of the town is 'Burtonian'. Burton is 13 miles (21 km) from Lichfield, 11 miles (18 km) from Derby and 26 miles (42 km) from Leicester.
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League and from 1888 to 1992, it was the top tier division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the Premier League, it became the second tier division. It was rebranded as the Football League Championship in 2004 and in 2016 adopted its current name of the EFL Championship.
By 1993, Williams had been converted into a central defender and he helped the team to 1994 First Division playoff Final,but Derby were denied a place in the Premier League by Leicester City and he found himself partly at fault for one of the Foxes' goals. He remained at the Baseball Ground until the end of the 1994–95 season, when a 9th-place finish saw Derby fail to qualify for the playoffs. Williams made 195 appearances and scored 33 goals during six seasons with the Rams.
The 1994 Football League Division One play-off Final was contested by Leicester City and Derby County at Wembley Stadium, London. Leicester City won the match by a scoreline of two goals to one, with Steve Walsh scoring both of their goals.
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
Leicester City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Leicester in the East Midlands. The club competes in the Premier League, England's top division of football, and plays its home games at the King Power Stadium.
Williams joined Fourth Division club Lincoln City on loan on 9 November 1989 and made the first professional appearances of his career in a six-match spell at Sincil Bank.
The Football League Fourth Division was the fourth-highest division in the English football league system from the 1958–59 season until the creation of the Premier League prior to the 1992–93 season. Whilst the division disappeared in name in 1992, the 4th tier of English football continued as the Football League Third Division, and later became known as Football League Two.
Lincoln City Football Club are a professional association football club based in the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the "Imps" after the legend of the Lincoln Imp, they have played at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank since their move from John O'Gaunts in 1895. Traditionally they play in red and white striped shirts with black shorts and red and white socks. They hold rivalries with other Lincolnshire clubs, particularly Football League sides Scunthorpe United, Boston United and Grimsby Town.
Sincil Bank is a football stadium in Lincoln, England which has been the home of Lincoln City since 1895. Previously, Lincoln City had played at the nearby John O'Gaunts ground since the club's 1884 inception. Sincil Bank has an overall capacity of 10,120 and is colloquially known to fans as "Sinny Bank". It is overlooked by Lincoln Cathedral. Former Lincoln City chairman John Reames re-purchased the ground from the local council in 2000 at a cost of £175,000. The club had sold it in 1982 for £225,000 in order to fend off the threat of eviction, arranging a 125-year lease.
Williams moved up to the Premier League to sign with Coventry City in August 1995 for a £750,000 fee.He was the Highfield Road club's Player of the Year in his debut season and remained at the club for a further five years before being released in September 2001. Williams made 199 appearances and scored six goals for Coventry City, including the winner in a 2–1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the 1996–97 season, which preserved the Sky Blues' Premier League status.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following promotion via the playoffs from League Two in the 2017–18 season, and temporarily plays its home games at St Andrew's Stadium in Birmingham.
Highfield Road was a football stadium in the city of Coventry, England. It was the home ground for Coventry City F.C. for 106 years.
During the 1995–96 English football season, Coventry City competed in the FA Premier League.
Williams reunited with his former Coventry City manager Gordon Strachan at Premier League club Southampton on 26 October 2001, signing on a short-term loan with a view to a permanent move.He made his debut the following day as a first half substitute for Claus Lundekvam during a 2–1 defeat to Fulham. After signing on a permanent deal the following week, Williams was a near ever-present during the remainder of the 2001–02 season, making 30 appearances. Injuries disrupted Williams' 2002–03 season, which proved to be a memorable campaign for the Saints, reaching the 2003 FA Cup Final (qualifying for the UEFA Cup) and finishing 8th in the Premier League. Williams' final involvement with the first team was as an unused substitute during the Cup Final, which was lost 1–0 to Arsenal. Williams was released in June 2003, after making 43 appearances during two seasons at St Mary's.
Gordon David Strachan is a Scottish football coach and former player. Strachan played for Dundee, Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, as well as the Scotland national team. He has since managed Coventry City, Southampton, Celtic, Middlesbrough and Scotland.
Southampton Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southampton, Hampshire, England, which plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.
Claus Lundekvam is a former Norwegian footballer, who spent most of his career at English side Southampton. He played for Southampton in the 2003 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. Lundekvam was capped 40 times playing for Norway.
After angering Walsall manager Colin Lee by reneging on a deal in principle to join the First Division club for the 2003–04 season,Williams joined rivals Stoke City on 18 August 2003. He made 20 appearances during the 2003–04 season and injuries reduced his appearances to none in 2004–05, which led to his release on 1 February 2005.
In April 2005, Williams joined United Soccer League Division One club Richmond Kickers,where he made five appearances in a short spell. In October 2006, it was announced that Williams had joined Midland Alliance club Rocester, but the deal collapsed.
Williams won six caps for the England U21 team in 1991.He made three appearances at the 1991 Toulon Tournament, started in a 2–1 friendly victory over Germany and played in two 1992 European U21 Championship qualifiers.
Williams was announced as head coach of USL Premier Development League expansion club Fredericksburg Gunners in December 2006.He was replaced by Cristian Neagu in February 2007, before the 2007 season began.
On 17 December 2015, Williams was named first team coach at Championship club Nottingham Forest.On 13 March 2016, he was named manager until the end of the 2015–16 season, following the termination of Dougie Freedman's contract on the same day. Williams took charge of his first game two days later, a 1–1 draw away to Hull City. He guided the club to a 16th-place finish and departed the City Ground on 12 May 2016.
Williams served as a youth development coach at Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2006 and 2008.
On 14 October 2009, Williams was installed as assistant to caretaker manager and former Southampton teammate Jason Dodd at League Two club Aldershot Town.The pair presided over four matches and departed after a 2–0 FA Cup second round victory over Bury on 7 November.
Williams rejoined former club Southampton as a part-time youth coach at the club's academy in 2009 and was promoted to the full-time role of Youth Development Coach in July 2011.He managed the U13 team, served as assistant to U18 manager Jason Dodd and coached specialist sessions for teams between U14 and U18 level. Dodd and Williams were dismissed from their roles on 20 May 2014. Dodd and Williams presided over a productive era for the Saints academy, with future England internationals Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers graduating and earning the club millions in transfer fees.
Williams was first team coach at Hampshire Premier League club Team Solent during the 2010–11 season.
Williams was announced as assistant manager/first team coach under Ian Baird at Conference South club Eastleigh on 2 June 2011.On 1 July, it was announced that Williams had left the club.
Williams linked up with Jason Dodd as part of the backroom team at Conference South club Gosport Borough in January 2015.He left the club at the end of the 2014–15 season.
In July 2015, Williams joined Championship club Brentford as Logistics Manager and became assistant to new head coach and former Derby County and Coventry City teammate Lee Carsley on 28 September.After the appointment of Dean Smith as the Bees' new head coach two months later, Williams was replaced as assistant by Richard O'Kelly and reverted to a coaching role with the Development Squad. He left the club in December 2015.
On 28 July 2015, Williams was announced as an assistant coach with the England U15 and U16 teams.He later became assistant to England U20 manager Aidy Boothroyd early in the 2016–17 season and took over as interim manager of the team in September 2016. He managed the U20s to victory in the 2016 Four Nations tournament and to a runners-up finish in the 2016 Continental Cup and left the role in mid-November 2016.
Williams joined Premier League club Swansea City as assistant to manager Bob Bradley on 16 November 2016.Following Bradley's sacking and the appointment of Paul Clement as manager on 3 January 2017, Williams was placed on gardening leave.
On 18 September 2017, Williams joined Championship club Birmingham City as assistant first team coach.With the club in the relegation zone, he left the club when manager Steve Cotterill was sacked in March 2018.
In September 2018, it was announced that Williams had joined Championship club West Bromwich Albion as an opposition scout.He remained in the role until January 2019.
On 21 January 2019, Williams was appointed head coach of Championship club Norwich City's U18 team.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Derby County||1989–90||First Division||10||1||—||0||0||0||0||10||1|
|Lincoln City (loan)||1989–90||Fourth Division||3||0||2||0||—||1||0||6||0|
|Coventry City||1995–96||Premier League||32||2||1||0||4||1||—||37||2|
|Stoke City||2003–04||First Division||19||0||0||0||1||0||—||20||0|
|Richmond Kickers||2005||USL First Division||5||0||—||—||—||5||0|
|Nottingham Forest (caretaker)||13 March 2016||12 May 2016||10||2||4||4||20.0|
|England U20 (caretaker)||September 2016||November 2016||6||5||0||1||83.3|
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