Alex Williams was born round the corner from Maine Road and attended the same school as Roger Palmer and Clive Wilson (at the same time even) but football wasn't in his original game plan. His parents weren't really into football so he wasn't under any pressure but he says that today's youngsters are under more pressure due to the fact that they are now representing City from such an early age. Boot cleaning and changing room cleaning are no longer on the agenda but the youngsters are given the chance to see how people work in a 9-5 job too. Material rewards are better these days muses Alex ruefully as the 17 & 18 year olds now drive around in new cars where he had to make do with a bit of a rust bucket which caused amusement amongst his team mates!
Williams seemed to have tremendous abilitiy and did enough early on to impress Derek Hodgson of the Daily Telegraph who proudly stated: "Alex Williams will win more England caps than Joe Corrigan." Corrigan himself remembers Alex this way: "He was a tall gangling lad who quickly started to reveal immense promise. He was a shy, modest and always courteous lad who seemed a bit overawed by what was happening around him. Sometimes emerging players start to be a bit flashy at that age. Not so with Alex, he always had his feet firmly on the ground."
Bryan Robson scored against Alex both on his début, and in his last match for City. The colour of a playes skin should never matter, still during the 80ies it seemed many opponents' fans could not accept City had the First Divisions first black goalkeeper, and Alex suffered tremendous racist abuse at many grounds. Alex like Trautmann before him showed great courage in overcoming mindless behaviour by some of the spectators.
From March 1983 to September 1985 Alex never missed a League game. He was one of City's most consistent performers helping the Blues achieve promotion under Billy McNeill in 1985. During that promotion season he maintained a clean sheat for 21 of the 42 games. Only beaten by Joe Corrigan and Nicky Weaver. He was eventually going to miss a match due to a toe injury and during a reserve team match he fell badly on his back and injured his spine. That marked the end of his City career.
To help him recover from his back injury, Billy McNeill sent him to Queen of the South which he really enjoyed and he remembers being called an "English bastard" as opposed to a "black bastard" which made a change! He joined Port Vale as the Vale physio was a back specialist and he felt that if he was going to make a full recovery then Vale would be the place to do it. Although he did slowly improve, he still felt some discomfort but decided enough was enough after a freezing cold night game. Ironically when he did retire, West Ham were interested in him. He then had to sign on for the first time in his life but soon rejoined Vale to start their Football in the Community scheme before moving to City two years later. He would have liked to try his hand at management feeling that ex-players cope better as they know how players are! He still enjoys watching City.