I first met G.J.”Willie” Williams and his family Grace, Ken and Wendy in the 1960s when he was still in the army but planning his departure and a new life – in fact it was, for a short time, with Canada Life! He was later involved in Elton John’s admin and support team. The Ealing Evergreens Inaugural Tour of 1967 was arranged by Willie through his old Rhine Army contacts in Senelager \(?) Bielefeldt and Paderborn. Our “squad” (before it was fashionable) included Warwick Tilton, Ken Bonner, John Richards, Fintan Traynor, Ray Cusdin and many durable statesmen of Ealing by whom I was, as the baby of the tour, honoured by an invitation to join them. Some misguidedly contributed the notion that we were ” a drinking team with a rugby problem” but Cap’n Williams would have none of it – he vehemently refuted this and settled for “a highly talented company of performers and singers with a rugby future!”
Willie settled back in Ealing, holding audiences and ‘offices’ in the Horsenden Hill clubhouse, and hostelries in Pitshanger Lane, advising, affably arguing, listening to and motivating club members, hardly ever missing a game during his seamless “transitioning” from Guinness to Muscadet! In later years, Willie was joined by his soul-mate Win – they were inseparable, taking an active part in the club and community. He sadly lost Win some years ago – I last saw him around then , for a chat at the club when he was on his trike behind the trade-mark glass of Muscadet – supporting Ealing as he had always done. Like a solid item of polished furniture leaving an empty space, Willie will be sadly missed. My sincere condolences to the family.
I was privileged to have known him.