Highly respected referee Steve Williams also with Hundleton sport in general - is brilliant!

Steve Williams -presented unsung hero award by Alan Jones Steve Williams has been a terrific sporting servant for the village of Hundleton in a variety of roles as a player and administrator, but is perhaps best known as a long time cricketer with the village’s team but perhaps even more so as a respected football referee who has been in charge of a number of important cup finals, including the most important of them all – The Senior Cup Final in 2005, but more of that later!
Steve has been a player at Hundleton CC for 40+ seasons, and the club’s hon treasurer for 27 years. He was first junior organiser in 1994 and also for a range of other different seasons in the intervening time and was responsible for starting the ‘All Stars’ format for ages five to eight.  He has recently passed his cricket umpires’ course and has already officiated at two cup finals in his first shortened campaign.
He has been a Hundleton Sports Association member from the time it was being formed and hon treasurer for 20+ years, and has been successful in claiming many useful grants and was delighted to be nominated for the ‘Unsung Hero’ category in the Sport Pembrokeshire Awards – and with his superb finalist’s trophy.

Keen to improve facilities

“I was also  involved in setting up the Hundleton Tennis Club again (although we do have some way to go); and I acts as chairman and sourced grant funding from ‘Tennis Wales’  to get it  going.”
He never tires of trying to improve the sports facilities in the village and his enthusiasm is infectious as he readily admits he just wants everyone to join in and enjoy the benefits that sport can bring.

Early start with ‘legend’ Frankie

“My earliest recollection of playing football was for a team formed by Frankie Donovan, who played for Swansea Town and represented Great Britain in the 1948 Summer Olympics, and who was brilliant with his words of wisdom to us.
“The piece of advice I will always remember Frankie telling his team was if you commit a foul always get up and apologise to the player and referee, as it would save you many a booking – and in all the 24 years I played football I was never booked or sent off but apologised loads of times!
“Living in Orange Gardens in Pembroke when I started out my local football team was Monkton Swifts, for whom I played for over 20 years, and I’m still waiting for my testimonial!
“I spent a couple of years playing for Angle, alongside some great playing characters too numerous to mention, and finished my career at Hundleton where the same could be said.

“I played rugby, football and cricket, plus table tennis, when I studied at Barry Teacher Training College and I was captain for two years at both football and cricket

Wife Kathryn sets him off on the road to cricket umpiring!

“My wife Kathryn, who retired as a teacher from Monkton School, did once say that every Saturday of our married life I had been involved in football and cricket and she was looking forward to my retirement - but when I did retire she soon told me that there was an umpires’ course I should go on!
“So Jonathan Williams, Chris Stapleton and I did the umpires’ course just before lockdown swept in, Chris and myself have since done a few games this summer namely Harrison-Allen Bowl matches, the Alan Brown Cup Final, the Ladies’ Cup Final, and Pembrokeshire over 50s v Wales over 60s   which were all  thoroughly enjoyable.
“My first learning point as an umpire was not to eat tomato sandwiches when you are dressed in all white,” admitted Steve when we asked him what he had learned during all these matches, which came quick and fast!

Family Matters

“Apart from my long suffering wife my daughter lives locally with her partner and 2 children whilst my son Steffan plays for Hundleton and has played for Pembrokeshire youth in cricket and he also plays in goal for Hundleton seconds. Hopefully he will have as much enjoyment out of sport as I have.
“My daughter Samantha and her partner Michael have given me two smashing grand children in Calum (10) and Scarlette (8), who are both keen on gymnastics.”

Unsung Hero - Steve Williams

Recognition for unsung heroes

It is refreshing to note that when talking to Steve he was very eager to point out how important the men behind the scenes were.
“The most important aspect of local sport is the people who dedicate so much of their time to making it a success to enable young and old to participate. During my time at Monkton Swifts we had Clifford Cole, Charlie Blunsden, Colwyn Evans, Russell Martin and Bob Griffiths. At Angle there was Peter Thomas and Mike Hughes and at Hundleton Peter Luff, Alan Lacey, Alan Williams and Peter Wilson.
“I must also give a special mention to the stalwarts of The Pembrokeshire League such as Eddie Oliver, Keith Scourfield and now you have Brian Hawkins, Mickey Phillips, Phil Devonald and Trevor Morgans, without whom there would be no organised football.
“During my playing days at Monkton Swifts the players that were both excellent on the pitch or as  administrators were Ricky Hill,  Paul Bargery, Paul Blunsden, Richie Burrows, Roy Davies, Billy and Benno Jones and lots more too numerous to mention.

Steve Williams, Paul Jackson, Alan Boswell and Charles Davies

Starting out as a football referee

“When I was 38 and convalescing after having my appendix operation it was Eddie Oliver, the Pembrokeshire League Secretary, who chatted to me and suggested I do the referees course. This I did under the tutelage of Pedr McMullen and I realised like most players we know the main rules of the game but made the rest up to suit our own situation.
“I attended the course with Pedr McMullen, a lovely character who has been responsible for setting most local refs on the right road, and I sometimes went with him to officiate matches in the Welsh League.
“Those trips were always interesting to say the least, like the time we left early to find Garw and were there in ample time – but there were no SatNavs in those days and we couldn’t find the ground.
“I suggested asking someone but he would have none of it until we reached the point of no return – and the first lady we asked pointed us in the right direction but we were still ten minutes late!”

Memorable moments . . .

“I took to the role straight away and I was the referee in such finals as the Wiltshire Cup (Herbrandston v Pennar in 1999-00), and the division two cup final (2006-07) between Pennar v Pendine. Then there was the division three cup final in 2001-02 between Hubberston v Templeton, alongside all the Junior Cup finals
“I was the referee in the Senior Cup final, between Carew and St Ishmaels in 2004-05, with Steve Walters and Alan Boswell running the line, which was played, strangely enough, at Monkton, which Tish won 2-0 in an excellent final watched by a large crowd.
“The other thing a remember was the fact that I invited all the other referees to join me at The Highgate Inn, in Hundleton, for food beforehand and I happily paid for it – but the next year the tradition was continued in Haverfordwest – and it was agreed that from then on the Referees’ Society would pay for the grub as a special ‘thank you’! Now that was just my luck,” said Steve with a typical chuckle!”
“I somehow came to be known as a good eater, along with my old pal Chris Stapleton!”
There was further recognition for Steve in the 2003-04 season as he was given the WWFA Youth Cup Final at the old Vetch Field between Garden Village and Pontardawe Town - and was fourth official in the 2008-9 WWFA Intermediate Cup Final at the Liberty Stadium.

. . . And not such memorable moments!

“You often remember games through incidents like reffing at Solva who play on the exposed top of the hill with a Force Nine westerly gale alongside driving sleet and rain - and I knew when the ball from a goal kick went back over the goal, over the clubhouse and was last seen heading down the hill towards the village that it was time to abandon the game.
Then there was a Division One game between Tenby and Hakin when the pea went in my whistle and luckily Daisy Picton was on the touchline to lend me a whistle. I’m sure he charged me for it! or the time I walked from Haverfordwest Cricket Club to their pitch only to have to walk the near mile back again to get my flags, which I had left in the changing rooms!

Great days with Hundleton Cricket Club

“I played cricket at youth and senior level for Pembroke Cricket Club for two years and then joined Hundleton until my retirement two years ago, aged 62. We always enjoyed playing and had two early wins in the Alan Brown Cup Final as highlights. I did score two centuries at Hundleton - I am sure most of the runs were in singles!
“We had some characters at Hundleton such as Graham, John and Donald Sheppard, John Raymond, Brian, Mark, Jonathan, Philip, Gary, Dean, Luke, Craig and Liam Williams, Chris Stapleton, Peter Baker, Mark Fowden, Wes Lewis, Phil Price and Nigel Arthur, Morgan and Richard Allen
“I particularly remember one game when the whole team consisted of either players called Williams and Sheppard, and the umpire was my Grandfather Denis Williams. I still think we lost, despite the efforts of granddad!
“I remember playing with Hundleton at Spittal when the game was abandoned due to a swarm of midges. I still think this was ploy by Spittal, who released the midges if they looked like losing!”

Umpires Steve Williams and Chris Stapleton

And finally . . .

Steve is eager to pursue his umpiring career and enjoys working alongside Hundleton colleague Chris Stapleton, alongside other more experienced officials.
He is 64 now but still enjoys being a football referee and if you ask him how much longer he intends being the man in the middle is answer is immediate:

“As long as I stay fit enough to get out of the centre circle and keep up with the game.”
He is also involved in the current Indoor Cricket League, again with old pal Charis Stapleton.
When you talk to Steve his sense of humour is very evident and we at PembrokeshireSport.co.uk can honestly say it was a pleasure to interview him – and long may he continue to be an integral part of sport in Hundleton and across Pembrokeshire!