Former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams has recently released an autobiography titled ‘You saw me standing alone’.
The book, which of course takes its name from the famous Manchester City song, Blue Moon, takes the reader through Alex’s life, touching on numerous topics such as his upbringing, his footballing career, the racism he had to face while playing, and some of the community work he has done over the years.
With the help of writer Andy Buckley, he wrote and self-published the autobiography back in August.
According to Alex, the first draft of the book took him about a year to put together, and he outlined that the toughest part of the book was remembering the exact dates of past events.
Alex is a local lad, who grew up in Moss Side, and it was always his dream to play for his boyhood club. In the 1980-81 season, this dream became a reality when, aged just 19, Alex made his debut for the club in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at Maine Road.
The shot-stopper would then go on to make 125 appearances for the club across six years, including one appearance in the Manchester derby, before enduring short spells with Queen of the South and Port Vale.
Alex’s career would then be curtailed in the late 80s by a persistent injury issue.
Among Alex’s greatest achievements were winning both the European Under-18 and Under-21 Championships in 1980 and 1984 respectively, as well as achieving promotion to the First Division with City back in 1985.
Arguably, Alex’s biggest achievement, at least individually, was making the PFA Team of the Year (Second Division) in the 1983-84 season.
After his playing career, Alex was heavily involved in the local charity, City in the Community (CITC), in which he acted as an ambassador for 33 years before retiring from the role earlier this year.
Throughout his time with the charity, he helped to inspire back street kids like him to turn their lives around.
Alex believes this was the perfect post-footballing role for him, which allowed him to fulfil his passion to better the lives of others.
Part of his role was to hold talks at schools and colleges, in order to shape the next generation of young adults, which is something Alex greatly enjoyed.
Another part of his role was to host soccer schools, to provide underprivileged children with the opportunity to play sport.
As well as working with CITC, he also spent a number of years as a governor at Denton Community College, where he now has a year group named after him.
The final act of Alex’s career at City was presenting the Premier League trophy to club captain Ilkay Gundogan in May 2023. The crowning glory in a remarkable football journey.
The book contains tributes from a number of famous faces including Noel Gallagher and Andy Burnham, and the foreword for the autobiography was written by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
As mentioned, the book was written with the help of Andy Buckley, an experienced writer and broadcaster who has covered a plethora of sporting events throughout his media career, which spans almost half a century.
Following the release, Andy outlined his reasons for wanting to get involved with the writing of the book, “There are many strands to Alex’s story, this is what makes him so interesting.
“He has experienced so much change across the five decades he was involved with the club, both on and off the pitch, from the club being in the third tier of English football, to winning the treble.
“He has also experienced the cultural and social changes the city of Manchester has gone through, with racism being a big topic in the book.
Andy was also keen to highlight the book is one that should appeal to a variety of readers, regardless of their level of interest in sport, “We didn’t just want it to be a book on football, it’s a book about Alex’s journey both on and off the pitch and a story on the way Manchester has evolved, through the eyes of Alex.”
As mentioned, the book also focuses on the fantastic community work Alex has done over the years, and Andy believes it is crucial that Alex is recognised for this, “The City in the Community charity started with a bag of footballs and bags of enthusiasm, and with the help of Alex it has now become a global brand.
“Alex is largely responsible for orchestrating community-led activities that have revolutionised the lives of others, and it is vital he is recognised for this.”
The book is available online through the website, priced at £15. Part of the proceeds will be donated to City in the Community. To get your hands on a copy just visit: www.alexwilliamsbook.co.uk