3 November 1935
19 October 1995 (aged 59)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 187d
Last game: 32y 176d
Height and weight
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Melbourne: 25, 35
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Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only
Originally from Elsternwick Amateurs, Don Williams commenced his league career with Melbourne in 1953, just as the club was beginning to re-emerge as a force. A brilliant half back flanker, he played in the Demons' 1955-6-7 premiership teams, as well as the losing side of 1958, but was dropped to the bench for the 1959 Grand Final, a decision which infuriated him. As a result, he decided to seek pastures new, and the 1960 season found him at West Perth, just in time to contribute to the Cardinals' first premiership win in almost a decade.
In 1961, Don Williams had the satisfaction of being chosen in Western Australia's triumphant Brisbane carnival team, and of putting one over his erstwhile Victorian colleagues in the process. He carried on at West Perth in 1962, but the following year he returned home to Victoria after accepting a coaching role at country side Sale. Still aged only 28, however, he was keen to prove himself at the top level once more, and in 1964 he resumed at Melbourne for whom, playing in the centre, he was one of the best players afield in a nailbiting four-point Grand Final win over arch rivals Collingwood.
Over the course of his last five seasons Don Williams played some of the finest football of his career. Selection for the VFL in 1965 brought his total number of interstate appearances to 11 - eight with his home state, and three with Western Australia.
When, in 2000, Melbourne announced its official 'Team of the Century', Don Williams was chosen on a half-back flank.
Author - John Devaney