Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Gregory Williams

Known as
Greg Williams


30 September 1963 (age 60)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 183d
Last game: 33y 292d

Height and weight
Height: 176 cm
Weight: 86 kg

Senior clubs
Geelong; Sydney; Australia; Carlton

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 11
Sydney: 2
Carlton: 2

Recruited from
Geelong (1986); Sydney (1992)

Greg Williams

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

AFL: 9,493rd player to appear, 276th most games played, 354th most goals kickedGeelong: 838th player to appear, 432nd most games played, 421st most goals kickedSydney: 1,154th player to appear, 128th most games played, 56th most goals kickedCarlton: 983rd player to appear, 155th most games played, 106th most goals kicked

Like Laurie Nash before him, Greg Williams was never shy when it came to boasting of his own ability. He also shared another Nash propensity - for honesty.

Often criticised for being slow, Williams showed that a player did not have to be endowed with phenomenal pace in order to wreak havoc among opposing backlines. Given that the football, when either handballed or kicked, tends to move appreciably faster than when carried on the run by even the sprightliest players, Williams' unequalled disposal skills with both hand and foot made him, when playing at his peak, almost uncontainable. Of course, he had to get the football first, before he could use it, and this he was pre-eminently and repeatedly able to do owing to that marvellous, untutored sense of anticipation which all champion players possess, and which Williams himself boasted in unparalleled abundance.

The Greg Williams career fits neatly into three stages. Between 1984 and 1985 he played 34 VFL games and kicked 10 goals for Geelong, winning the Cats' best-and-fairest award in the latter year whilst simultaneously displaying a nascent ability to catch the umpire's eye with 15 Brownlow votes. In six seasons in the Harbour City with the Swans he truly came of age. The compact Sydney Cricket Ground suited his style and he quickly established a reputation as the game's most prolific and effective exponent of handball, and indeed arguably its most renowned (in the sense of being 'identified' with the skill) practitioner since 'Polly' Farmer. In 1986, he tied for the Brownlow Medal with Hawthorn's Robert Dipierdomenico. The Swans phase of Williams' career saw him add 107 games and 118 goals to his respective career tallies.

The final phase of Williams' career saw him at Carlton between 1992 and 1997 where he won a second Brownlow in 1994. Then, in 1995, he achieved his last major remaining ambition of playing in a premiership side. His selection as Norm Smith Medallist after the Blues' demolition of his original club Geelong was the quintessential 'icing on the cake' of a stellar career, the Blues portion of which saw him play 109 games and kick 89 goals.

Author - John Devaney


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* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.