Featured in cartoons

Bert Williams played for England against Wales in May 1945 ending up on the winning side 3-2 when he was still a Walsall player.  The teams met again in October 1945 at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich and another victory by 1-0 but at this point Bert was now a Wolves player.  In goal for Wales was Cyril Sidlow, goalkeeper of Wolves when Bert arrived, but who left shortly after.  It was a quite unique event that both goalkeepers in an international match were provided by the same club, Wolves.

Throughout Bert’s career he featured in many cartoons in both the local and national press.  When he first signed for Walsall the subject of the cartoons was often based on his youth but as his game developed they became more flattering.

This cartoon focused on Bert’s youth showing him with a lollipop and a bag of toffee

This was a Norman Edwards caricature of Bert shortly after he joined Wolves

Norman Edwards produced a marvellous cartoon for the Birmingham Gazette
The reference to the “First Flight” relates to Bert’s matches with the RAF

Bert received many tributes from opposing fans who were mightily impressed by his goalkeeping exploits and this one came from a Stoke City supporter called Edwin Hall who also wrote a wonderful letter to Harry Hibbs, the Walsall manager and former Birmingham and England goalkeeper, praising the exploits of his protégé, Bert Williams.

© Soccer Nostalgia

Design: David Ainsworth