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[Archived] John Williams Appreciation Thread

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What typifies Blackburn Rovers? Hard work, honesty, dignity, fighting against the odds, respect, passion, heart, Arte et Labore.

Arte et Labore has always represented what our club stood for magnificently which in recent times has been personified by one man. John Williams. I am sure that Venkys have a plan and in that sense I do not worry so much for the future of our club. I worry for its heart.

I have always felt that in some sense you do not chose the football club you wish to support. It chooses you based on the morals and beliefs developed and attached to the club over decades. It was not so much of a choice that attracted me to Rovers, it just happened and I am sure that is the case for many. John Williams leaving to me is the end of an era, not the trust selling as he was the man at the forefront, leading the club by the morals and ethics shared by the club, him and many fans.

I find myself viewing some other teams through gritted teeth at times as many others do also. Success on the pitch does not define a team as that is not where the substance lies. I would rather roar against us fighting off relegation than clap a club with no soul challenging for honors. I sincerely hope we do not lose what makes Blackburn Rovers our club. We may do, we may not. I will give my skeptical support and wait to see how things pan out. There is no more that can be done and as many have said Venkys paid the money which everyone acknowledges had to happen, so have every right to run the club as they see fit.

I simply hope we can hang onto the history which made Blackburn Rovers what it is today. Finally I am only 22. My time in comparison to other posters on here is rather minimal. But in that short time in my opinion John Williams comes only second to Jack Walker. That is the highest compliment I can pay to a fantastic servant of the club. So thank you John for steering Rovers through many dark days but more importantly providing us with some blumin bright ones as well. You did us proud. All the best for the future.

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Thank you very much for all your hard work John. We all at Blackburn Rovers wish you every success in the future.

There are some things money can't buy, one being genuine love for the club. You loved the club and tried in every way possible to make us successful. I'm sure Uncle Jack will have appreciated everything you did for our club, and most of all every single supporter has.

Thank you!

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Not much more I can add beyond what's already been put so eloquently. Thank you for your years of service to BRFC. You managed to maintain yourself and the club's integrity and honour at a time when those qualities have been lacking in the wider football world. I hope you continue to follow goings on at Ewood with pride and wish you all the best in future endeavours.

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The letters JW will be synonymous with two of the legends that have honored this football club with all that they had.

Agreed! In fact, John Williams was here much longer than Jack Walker! I cannot understand that he has been forced out this way, these owners does not seem to know anything about club legends and what these people mean to the fans!

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I just wanted to echo the sentiments already expressed. I can't imagine many football club chairmen leaving the supporters genuinely distressed at their departure, and that I am.

Thank you for everything JW, I completely believed in your stewardship, felt you stood for what I stand for and I am so sad that it has come to this.

Nothing can take away your achievements, our shared memories and all that you gave to Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Thank you for all of it, all the very best for the future.

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Well Mr Williams what can a humble fan say to a man who has brought me so much joy over the last 14 years. Everyone talks about managers, about the legacy's they create and the teams they form. But very few talk and appreciate the work behind the scenes by the man who truly rules the roost, the chairman.

John your work and passion for our club sees you held in a very different esteem here at Rovers over the vast majority of Chairman and I'm truly glad that is the case. You brought me Souness, a return the the premier league, you aided in supplying the infrastructure that gave me the joy of watching Dunn and Duff. The league cup triumph and our return to the big time. Next came Hughes, european challenges and far more memorable than our previous ones. Your tireless work and balancing act with our finances brought us so many quality players over the next few years, McCarthy, Bellamy, RSC, Savage, etc. All enabled by your negotiating skills and the other methods you employed. You then guided us through dark times and brought us back into safety and security when we could have easily ended up relegated and finished.

You've shown yourself to be a man of integrity and more importantly a man of the people, us the fans. Your willingness to meet us to discuss grievances, to be seen and approachable in and around the ground truly spoke volumes that you were here for us the fans and how many clubs can claim that these days. The season ticket scheme that has seen the atmosphere return to Ewood and the attendances increase was a masterstroke, one that I won't forget quickly. The acclaim you have received from your peers speaks volumes and just lends further weight to the sterling job that we perceive you have done for our club.

John it's been an absolute pleasure and so re-assuring to know your were there ensuring our club was always on the best footing it could be, you will be missed, but never forgotten. You've become a part of our club a part of it's history and that can never be taken away.

I can't thank you enough for all the work and success you have brought to Rovers during your tenure. I think it's save to say Jack would have been as proud of you as I'm sure all Rovers fans are.

Thank you.

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I wish Mr. Williams a long, healthy and happy retirement and I hope when all the dust has settled that he becomes a regular visitor to Ewood again. I think he can be assured a warm welcome by all the fans of Blackburn Rovers.

In the past, directors and chairmen of football clubs were viewed with suspicion by most of the fans, they were distant, sometimes aloof and lived in a different world to the club’s supporters. Mr. Williams was different, he was a breath of fresh air, approachable, affable and in touch. If the fan on the street had an opinion, you felt that he listened, he might not have agreed but he seemed to value the contact and appreciate the comment. Of course you always knew that he saw “the bigger picture” and he did his best to communicate what he could. We fans were better for it.

The willingness to listen and to communicate fostered confidence and respect, and there can’t be that many football club chairmen who have been respected as much as Mr. Williams. But the respect didn’t just come from the communication with the supporters, it came because you knew he was doing a good job, getting it right behind the scenes, bringing a good team together off the field and leading them well. The results were there for all to see. Blackburn Rovers were recognized as one of the best run clubs in England, an example of how to balance the pressures on and off the pitch. Mr. Williams developed the “Blackburn Model” and for that he gained the respect of his peers in the premier league and the envy of many outside it. He brought stability and he provided the foundation for us to “punch above our weight.”

I only met Mr. Williams once, when buying a cup of coffee at a café off the A1 on the way to Sunderland for a Boxing Day match a couple of years ago. He was there together with some of the other directors, but he took the time to stop and chat with me and my two sons and we felt that he appreciated we had made the effort to get there, he seemed like a nice bloke.

So, thank you Mr. Williams, thanks for listening, thanks for communicating but most of all, thank you for taking good care of my beloved football club Blackburn Rovers.

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From RoversMad thanks to admin for allowing us to post these thanks here.


#2 04 Feb 2011 21:05

re: Your messages for John Williams ...

I`d just like to wish John and his family all the very best for the future and to thank him for giving me the oppurtunity to become a season ticket holder for the first time in my life . Thank you for putting the club and its fans first , while still being able to keep us in the top flight . No one could have done it better . I`m sure all the staff will miss you , but your family will be glad to have you around more often .

All the best for the future .

Needle a Rovers fan .


#3 04 Feb 2011 21:17

re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

There are few clubs where the Chairman is admired and respected by the fans in the way John is and always will be at Blackburn. Thankyou for your sound and dignified leadership and for ensuring that the fans of our much loved club can afford to attend games and get behind the team.

Best of luck for the future.


#4 04 Feb 2011 21:29

re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

Salt of the earth chap and a real gentleman.

I was fortunate enough to work at the Rovers in the year we won back promotion to the Prem. A glass of champers for everyone at the club, great stuff ... we had a good chat about how good Brad would be for the team.

Our loss, best wishes JW ... proper servant of our club

Edit by user 04 Feb 21:31


#5 04 Feb 2011 21:35

re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

No thanks can ever be enough for what you have done for the club and fans. No fans have have trusted a Chairman or Chief Executive as much. No chairman of any club will ever be rembered with as much love and affection, now and in years to come, as you.

Best wishes to you and your family.


#6 04 Feb 2011 21:54

re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

A big thank you to John.Best chairman ever.Really connected with the supporters and went about his work in a dignified and correct manner.




#7 04 Feb 2011 22:20

re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

Thankyou John, thankyou so much for your role within our club, the best chairman around, respected by everybody, loved by everybody, its very rare to see a chairman like you, who puts the club and fans first, who works so well, gets on with what he does in such a respectable, dignified manner, you have done a tremendous job at rovers, ensuring that fans have the chance to come and watch affordable football at ewood, you have boosted our attendances and helped with the atmosphere with the brilliant price schemes, keep safe and sound John, you will be truley missed by everone here at Blackburn Rovers Football Club




#8 05 Feb 2011 00:39

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

While all around saw football as a business, clubs as a commodity, and supporters as an exploitable customer base, John Williams allowed the people of Blackburn to continue to support the club. Not only that, he listened to us, took on board our suggestions, and treated us, not with the contempt that had set in elsewhere, but with an unparalleled amount of decency and honesty.

Under his stewardship, I was always immensely proud to be a Rovers fan. I'll always be grateful for what he did for us. If there were more John Williams' in English football, the game would truly be a national treasure.


#9 05 Feb 2011 01:49

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

Thanks John for keeping a tight ship and cutting the cloth accordingly. Making football affordable to the people of Blackburn and surrounding areas was a real football mans ruling and you was/are in touch within the climate you was operating within. Well done John hold your head high as you did a sterling job.


#11 05 Feb 2011 04:38

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

Been a lifetime rovers fan all my life, but never had anybody in my life who could take me as a kid. I worked at blackburn for a year, and then got my first season ticket at the age of 17/18. Loved every minute of it, and go as many away's as i can, a lot of it because of your dedication and passion to give value for money to our fans. I really do feel priveliged to support a team who I feel genuinly care for our fans, which I feel is a lot down to you, and also which cannot be said for a lot of premier league clubs. You will be sorely missed, and have been a beautiful and gracious servant to our football club, one which your grace and endeavour has made all the more magnificent in your 13 years of service. Good luck to you in whatever you choose to pursue, i'm sure your future will be rosey!


#12 05 Feb 2011 08:53

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

Thank you John Williams. The greatest chairman the premiership has ever had. Mr Williams was the only chairman who didnt put the club before the fans. Everything JW did during his Long spell as chairman was to improve the fortunes of our beloved Blackburn Rovers and aswell as Uncle Jack, he will be forever remembered by all Blackburn supporters as 1 of us !!

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do John but never forget where your heart lies. Would be good to see you down at Ewood sometime as a guest of honour !!


#13 05 Feb 2011 09:24

re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Your messages for John Williams ...

John is a man that will always be loved by everybody in Blackburn, and respected by people up and down the country. He always took the fans and tradition of Rovers into consideration before making any decisions. It's absolutely phenomenal how he managed to maintain us as a strong premiership side over all these years, especially when we have been a small town club with little money at the best of times.

Thanks John, you will be missed.


#14 05 Feb 2011 09:34

re: Your messages for John Williams ...

All I can say is every Blackburn Rovers fan fully appreciates what he did for our club... Jack Walker would have been proud of your efforts in difficult circumstances over the last 10 years. Mr Williams....You did Jack proud : )

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The departure of John Williams I fear will be the end of Rovers as a "proper" football club

I very much doubt that the fans will have the same access to pop into Ewood for a one to one meeting with the chairman/woman in the future.

Thanks John, all the best for the future.

I suspect that if your not ready for the slippers and dressing gown, your telephone will be red hot with offers, from people from within and outside the game who appreciate your experience.

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"Many thanks " is such a pathetic way of expressing gratitude for all the years of wisdom and hard work you have given to our Football Club. Your open,inclusive and welcoming style reflected throughout the organisation you led and the many comments offered here and elsewhere show how much we, the fans, truly appreciated that.

You steered us through some dark days and it will always be a shame that some accommodation couldn't be reached with the "New Dawnists". But I trust your judgement, timing and sense of what is proper, and I'm sure that your Arte and Labore won't be lost to Football.

Good luck in all your future endeavours . 'Tis not in mortals to command success...but you will do more..deserve it!

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