Rotherham United are today deeply saddened to hear of the passing of club legend and record appearance holder Danny Williams, aged 94.
Regarded as one of our greatest figures and, arguably, one of Rotherham’s most famous sporting sons, Danny also managed the club between 1962 and 1965.
He achieved his record appearances after clocking up 500 appearances in League and Cup between 1945 and 1960. This doesn't include his war-time appearances.
Danny - from Thrybergh - joined the Millers in 1943, and he combined his playing duties with his job as a miner at Silverwood Colliery. He would play numerous times for the club during the war years, and by the time League football resumed in 1946, Danny was first choice and would make the number 6 jersey his own.
He starred during the 1950/51 campaign, as the club secured its first ever promotion. An all-action player in what would today be regarded as midfield, his strength and stamina set him apart, with his performances commanding interest from elsewhere, most notably from Liverpool. But he remained with the Millers at a time in football history where it was difficult to move from club-to-club.
He continued working as a miner until 1952, but his football commitments took over as he maintained his reputation as being one of the Millers’ most consistent performers.
He played his final competitive game in 1960, and one of his final games turned out to be one of his most memorable. Danny was outstanding as part of the side who took on Arsenal in the epic FA Cup third round, second replay, at Hillsborough, which the Millers won 2-0 in front of over 56,000.
Danny enjoyed a spell as player-coach with the Millers reserves, and would eventually become first-team manager of the club where he employed an exciting, attacking style. He was also responsible for bringing through a host of youngsters including the likes of Albert Bennett, Frank Casper and Barry Lyons, only to see some of his star attractions eventually sold.
Danny also managed Swindon Town and goes down in folklore at that club. As a Third Division team, Swindon beat Arsenal in the League Cup Final at Wembley in 1969 whilst gaining promotion and also winning the Anglo-Italian Cup, a feat which would see Danny’s name linked with bigger posts.
He managed Sheffield Wednesday between 1969 and 1971, he also took the hot-seat at Mansfield Town between 1971 and 1974. He would eventually re-join Swindon as manager, staying with the Wiltshire-club for 11 years, latterly as general manager.
Away from football, many will recall Danny running his successful sports shop for many years in Rotherham town centre, latterly in Church Street.
The club visited Danny in Hunstanton to celebrate his 90th birthday when fellow Millers legend John Breckin presented him with a team picture from Danny’s time with the Millers.
Everyone at Rotherham United would like to express our deepest condolences to Danny’s family and friends at this time.
Once a Miller, always a Miller.
Danny Williams - Rotherham career
War Years - 97 appearances, 10 goals
Football League - 461 appearances, 21 goals
FA Cup - 39 appearances, 2 goals
Football League - 126 games
FA Cup - 6 games
League Cup - 10 games