For over thirty-two years, Dave Williams demonstrated by word and deed his love for soccer in North Carolina. As a classic example of progression within the ranks, Dave started out as a player, then became a coach, a referee, a referee instructor, and finally a referee assessor.
Dave Williams’ extraordinary contributions as a referee, instructor, and assessor warrant the distinction of being inducted (posthumously) as a member of the eighth class of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame on this, the twelfth day of February, 2005. Dave’s wife, Pat Williams, sons Simon and Kevin Williams, and friends Geoffrey and Pat Scantlebury, will represent Dave at the induction ceremony.
Dave Williams’ dedication to the soccer program of North Carolina was phenomenal. He organized and administered the first Charlotte Junior Soccer League in the 1970s; coached teams; refereed high school soccer (as early as 1977), became a certified USSF referee (1980) and instructor (1985), and a referee assessor (1985). Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to build the infrastructure necessary to help boys and girls and men and women enjoy the beautiful game. He was a gifted instructor of both new and experienced referees who wanted to excel. He became a top-notch nationally known referee assessor for all levels of competition from youth recreational referees to United States International FIFA referees.
Dave spent hundreds of hours each year contributing to the soccer program of North Carolina. He was directly associated with the soccer referee program, but his work had an impact on players and games at every level of play. His goal was to make every North Carolina soccer referee the very best he or she could possibly be. The quality of his work became renown, and he also contributed to the growth of the USSF officiating programs in Region III and nationally.
Dave grew up in Yorkshire, England, the son of Welsh parents, and excelled as a “footballer” at a tender age. He was co-captain of his grammar school team, the Armthorpe Rangers, which still holds records for most goals for without a single goal against, then achieved a goal scoring record of 100-2 on its way to winning four League Cups. He was recruited by the Royal Air Force, some say, “in order to bolster the RAF military football team in its inter-service play.” Despite his rigorous playing schedule, Dave graduated from the RAF as a Pilot and Education Officer. He played for Sheffield Wednesday in the First Division of the English Football Association. A chemist by profession, with advanced degrees in organic chemistry, Dave rose through numerous companies and acquisitions and mergers, to become the Director of Quality Management and Global Strategic Planning of multi-national conglomerate Hoechst/Celanese. He immigrated to America in July of 1967 on board the SS United States, finally settling in Charlotte in 1970. He immediately became involved with soccer when he landed in Charlotte by organizing matches, coaching teams, and helping to secure funding to build soccer fields.
In 1980 he moved from organizing Charlotte Junior Soccer to becoming a certified USSF referee. Upon his retirement in 1998, Dave became the State Director of Instruction and State Director of Assessment for North Carolina. For three years he held both titles as the North Carolina Soccer Referees Association re-engineered its structure in order to become a seamless educational and development program. Dave also served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Adult Soccer Association.
In April 2004, clad in a North Carolina Soccer Referees Association jersey, Dave Williams died at home.