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Former England scrum half John Williams has passed away

06 October 2009

  • Former England, Barbarians and Lions star Williams has passed away
  • Scrum half represented England nine times and toured South Africa with Lions in 1955

The Rugby Football Union was today saddened by the news that former England, Barbarians and British & Irish Lions scrum half John Williams passed away yesterday after a long illness.

John Edward Williams was born in Leeds on January 31, 1932 and after attending Mill Hill School he went onto a distinguished playing career with Old Millhillians, The Army, Headingley, Harlequins and Sale. John represented Middlesex, Cheshire and the London Counties and served in the army before becoming an agent in the steel industry.

Over an 11-year period John was awarded nine England caps. The first cap came against France in April 1954 and the last when England faced Wales in January 1965, nine years after his previous appearance. John played six times for the Barbarians and toured with the British & Irish Lions to South Africa in 1955.

He scored a try for England in an 11-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in March, 1956.

Former England international Dickie Jeeps said today: "John was a superb scrum half and represented his club, county and country with distinction."

John's family would like to thank the Hartsleap hospital in Sandhurst, Surrey who cared for John in his final days as he continued his brave fight against Alzheimer's.

There will be a private family funeral followed by a memorial service with details of the latter to be announced in due course.