• July 26, 2023

Chris Bart-Williams dies aged 49 as tributes flood in for former Premier League star

Chris Bart-Williams dies aged 49 as tributes flood in for former Premier League star
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Chris Bart-Williams celebrates scoring for Nottingham Forest in 1999

Chris Bart-Williams came through the ranks at Leyton Orient, before shining for Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, while he also made 16 England Under-21 appearances and won one cap for England ‘B’

Chris Bart-Williams, the former Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest midfielder, has died at the age of just 49.

Bart-Williams, who was born in Sierra Leone, won 16 England Under-21 caps and one England ‘B’ cap, spent eight seasons of his 16-year professional career plying his trade in the Premier League.

After breaking through at Leyton Orient, he joined Wednesday for a then club-record fee of £275k in 1991. He made 156 appearances for the Owls, scoring 24 goals, before joining Forest in a £2.5million move in 1995. He would spend six-and-a-half years at the City Ground, making 245 appearances and scoring 35 times.

He also had spells at Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town, APOEL in Cyprus and Maltese side Marsaxlokk.

Former Nottingham Forest teammate Mark Crossley paid tribute on social media, to both Bart-Williams and Trevor Francis, who died earlier on Monday at the age of 69.

Crossley declared: “Devastating and I’m so upset to hear the news of Trevor Francis passing and my former team mate Chris Bart Williams, both so young, it is so sad , RIP Trevor and Chris.”

Ex-Arsenal and Everton star Kevin Campbell, a former teammate at Forest too, tweeted: “R.I.P. Chris, love you Bartman! My lil brother we shared such great moments and I truly am devastated at the extremely sad news!”.

Ipswich Town, offered their condolences, stating: “The Club is saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Bart-Williams. Once a Blue, always a Blue.”

Paul Conville, the first black footballer to play for Chelsea, also offered his thoughts, saying: “Another of our ex-football player has passed Chris Bart-Williams. R.I.P”.

In recent years, Bart-Williams had been working in the United States, running CBW Soccer Elite, offering coaching and mentoring to young footballers, as well as recruiting for colleges, living with his wife, Eva.

He told Mirror Football in 2018: “I have all this experience in professional football, so it’d be a shame to waste it.

“On the coaching side of things, I get out on the field, helping kids who might want to get in their high school team, play at college or make it as a professional. But we help them off the field, too, with mentoring. That’s just as important.

“We also have the recruitment element, helping kids find the right clubs or colleges. We recruit domestically and internationally. We want to help kids from abroad get into American colleges. It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding – I love what I do.”

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