Williams, who was a leading goalkicker at Hawthorn, was part of the team that dominated the third term against the Cats to take the points in the 2008 grand final. He combined with the class of Stuart Dew as the Hawks took a dominant stance on the game to upset the Cats.
Perhaps, just as memorable was his infamous ‘shotgun’ gesture after kicking a goal. It sparked controversy but Williams was nicknamed ‘The Shotgun’ because of the celebratory move.
He announced his retirement this week after struggling with a knee condition that has slowly hampered his laconic movement. He has been criticised on several occasions for showing body language as if he wasn’t trying out on the park.
Perhaps the most relieved man for Williams’ retirement is Bombers development coach Shannon Grant, coach of Bendigo, if not Essendon coach James Hird.
Grant was continuously asked by journalists on Williams’ performance and always attempted to put a positive spin on the former Hawks’ performance despite some disappointing efforts.
Williams was recruited to Essendon under the Matthew Knights era; perhaps it will be another reason for Essendon fans to dislike Knights as coach.
Williams was paid $1m over three years at the Bombers.
Ironically, he was used with the pick that Essendon scored for trading Andrew Lovett to St Kilda with. The pick went to Port Adelaide who picked up youngster Jasper McMillan-Pittard. (Hawthorn received the pick from Essendon but forwarded to Port as part of the Shaun Burgoyne deal).
By the end of 2009, Williams was languishing with the Box Hill Hawks playing VFL finals. His career at the Hawks appeared doomed and he was the most obvious Hawk to be put on the trade table.
Williams was the Hawks main power forward just before the arrival of Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead.
Injuries and form meant that he had to fight for his spot but his position in the team came even less important as Buddy and Roughy rose up the pecking order.