Tribute to Jay (Bubba) Williams

5 March 2019

Video excerpt from Elliston FC documentary with thanks to Roy Rogers of Akaroy Films. Interview comments filmed early February 2019. Link to youtube:

https://youtu.be/cyfojJLPq4E

 

Pictures (please select to enlarge)

1. Jay (Bubba) Williams on his wedding day

2. Jay and Ella in 2014

3. Jay and Matt Williams at quarter time at Mortlock 2013

4. Jay flies over Dylan Kelsh and the pack to spoil in the 2018 Grand Final

5. Elliston FC 2012 Mid West A Grade Premiers, Jay as captain

6. Elliston FC 2018 Mid West A Grade Premiers

7. Jay with Kingsley Bilney Jnr in State Country colours 2016

8. Jay and Jake Bruce in action for Mid West at Cummins vs Great Flinders

9. 2015 Eyre Peninsula Team

10. 2016 Eyre Peninsula Team

11. 2012 Mid West Team

12. Bubba in the percussion department in 2013

13. The State Country side in 2016 at Adelaide Oval

14. Jay in the changerooms pre match, ready to go. The Country side went on to win the match comfortably

15. Jay and Ella at AC/DC in 2015. Great friends and partners

16. Elliston FC 50 years in Le Hunte FL Heritage Match 14 Apr 2018

17. Jay, Ella and Valli after the 2018 Premiership win

18. With Steve Paul, Elliston President and Secretary, huge influencers on and off the ground

19. With the 2018 Premiership Cup

 

Mid West and the whole football community send their sincere sympathy to the Williams family upon the passing of Jay, lost to a tragic accident whilst working at the family farm. Survived by wife Ella and young daughter Valli, a wonderful family man, a huge contributor in football, farming and community life, he will be sadly missed.

We seek to recognise and pay Tribute to the outstanding contribution Jay has made to our sport, which only paints a partial picture of a young leader and friend that he is to so many. It is hard to do justice to the achievement that he has packed into 28 years.

Jay hit the football scene in the under 16s in 1998 after starting in the mini colts. Four games as a seven year old wide eyed youngster, keen to mix it with the big boys. Ten years of colts football, an amazing 121 games as an under 16 culminating in the Lockwood Medal in his final year in 2007 as the League’s Best and Fairest player. His talent was well and truly recognised by that point, as by the time he wound up his colts years, he had already played 35 A Grade games, one of the first picked despite his young years. Along the way in 2006, he managed to play three consecutive games in one day (A, B and Colts) seven times, covering player shortages in the club comes first attitude that remained within throughout his career. His Mortlock Shield first appearances were in 2008, along with leading the League’s Kinlough Cup team.

In 2009/2010 Jay relocated to Adelaide to play at the Port Adelaide Magpies whilst studying. Again his enormous talent to the fore, although he missed the farm, beach, friends. A few injuries did not assist and some of these continued later in his career. He was involved in the Port Adelaide Academy and played reserves football for Port Adelaide, also attracting AFL interest, no doubt will have progressed his football career much further had he chosen to remain on that path.

Returning home to Elliston in 2011, new A Grade coach Chad Fleming had taken over the reigns from Nick Paul. A tough year and the A Grade winning four games and missing the finals, Jay, the returning gun recruit 1st year as A Grade captain. This was a time that Jay started to emerge as a true leader of the club, A summer of scheming and recruiting, enticing ex pats back to the side, looking at those who would benefit the side and how it would all work. 2012 and the side was flying, round ten, the Roosters were 7 wins, three losses, sitting second and planning a premiership tilt. The last round was a disaster, injuries, missing players etc saw the Roosters drop four of the last five games, still third, but it looked like the ‘Dogs had caught them and would challenge the Hawks instead. There emerged possibly the single strongest duo to influence a finals series in Mid West, Jay Williams and Tom Rumbelow. For the last five games of the season these two alternated between best and second best, including the whole finals series. Roosters just surviving the Tigers by 5 points in the 1st semi, 2nd semi at home and Central Eyre wayward! nine goal 30 wayward, Elliston home by seven points in another thriller, so the Roosters fronted the Hawks in the Grand Final at Wirrulla. A close and tense struggle for the first half. The Roosters emerged in the third simply stunning the crowd, opposition and even themselves with a six goals to nil third quarter, setting up a surprisingly comfortable 41 point premiership win. Three scribes cast votes, Tom with 3/3/2 = 8 votes and Jay with 2/2/3 = 7 votes for a private best afield argument that they waged all year. Jay the premiership captain and one of the proudest players to have ever hoisted that Cup. Jay narrowly missed the Mail Medal in 2012, winning the Presidents Medal as runner up.

Jay added a second A Grade premiership to his tally in 2018, in a season marred by shoulder problems, it looked like he may miss! A mid season operation corrected a previous issue arising from a shoulder reconstruction saw him rushed in to the side, his talent crucial, but perhaps as much it is his presence and the bond that he creates within any team that he is involved.

As with everything he has done, Jay’s enthusiasm for football at higher levels has led to an unfinished decorated career at Interleague, Eyre Peninsula and State level. This has expanded his friendships far and wide. A regular for Mid West since his first game against Lincoln City in the Under 13s at Poole Oval Port Lincoln, playing through the under 15 Port Adelaide Cups, Under 17 Kinlough Cups, EP representation at junior level prior to heading to Adelaide for two years with the Port Adelaide Magpies. Jay played four State Country Championships, missing in 2014 due to an injury sustained prior to Mortlock Shield, missing the Mortlock as a player, but acting as runner for the team. Whilst best player listing is quite normal, his selection in the 2015 team of the State Championships, saw his elevation to the state side, firstly in the 2016 City v Country match and then in the side to play WA Country. Sadly injury sustained the week prior to the WA clash again required him to withdraw from that match.

Whilst he will always be remembered for grand feats, high marking, agile, fast and skilful on the ground, perhaps equalling this was his off ground work in bonding sessions. Elliston boys have always played hard on and off, so when the Mortlock team would retire to the Motel for a quiet post match drink together on a Saturday evening, coaches were puzzled to understand how buckets filled with shots emerging from the Elliston boys room were going to help the team performance. Jay, front and centre cheekily sharing the spoils for everyone and encouraging rowdy participation. While you wont find this in any AFL official guide or manual, for a team combining from thousands of square kilometres of country, this was just the thing to break down barriers, even if no one remembered much of the love by Sunday morning.

Jay has been the club secretary for the past five years, going to league meetings, dealing with recruiting, transfers, registrations etc. For anyone who understands the player turnover week by week at Roosterland, this job itself is medal worthy. Never fussed, stressed or fazed, or least appearing not to be, Jay just went about business in running the club. A big hand in managing the Elliston 50th year in 2018, a hugely successful event, Jay proudly wearing the heritage jumper.

Jay loved the beach, the farm, times travelling and formed a wonderful partnership with Ella and recently Valli. Just good people to be around and enjoy time with. A talented musician as with all the Williams. Close bonds with his family and played in some wonderful Elliston victories with brother Matthew.

This is a time that people rally around and support families and friends who are all hurting. While Jay was taken too soon, he leaves a legacy behind of which he will feel very proud, held in enormous respect by all who crossed his path, he will live in the minds of us all.

On behalf of the Mid West Football and Netball communities, our thoughts and wishes go out to Jay’s family, Ella and Valli, parents Terre and Annie, sister Kassie and husband Ryan, brother Matthew and partner Zanna, the whole extended Williams family, the Boylan family, friends and the community.

“Rest in Peace Bubba!”

 

Jay Williams         1998 - 2018        
Statement of Games Played              
Elliston FC                    
Mid West Football League                
                       
  A Grade   B Grade   Colts
Year Games Goals Votes   Games Goals Votes   Games Goals Votes
 
1998                 4 0 0
1999                 13 0 0
2000                 13 2 0
2001         3 0 0   15 2 0
2002         4 0 0   4 3 0
2003         0 0 0   16 4 0
2004         8 4 0   16 3 0
2005 1 0 0   5 3 0   9 2 0
2006 18 2 0   7 4 0   15 16 30
2007 16 5 0   0 0 0   16 49 48
2008 13 14 7   0 0 0        
2009 4 11 12   0 0 0        
2010 0 0 0   0 0 0        
2011 11 10 12   0 0 0        
2012 18 25 48   0 0 0        
2013 13 10 6   0 0 0        
2014 0 0 0   0 0 0        
2015 15 8 8   0 0 0        
2016 9 7 5   0 0 0        
2017 8 8 0   0 0 0        
2018 7 3 0   0 0 0        
Totals 133 103 98   27 11 0   121 81 78

 

Elliston   Games Goals Medal Votes          
A Grade   133 103 98          
B Grade   27 11 0          
Colts (u/16) 121 81 78          
Totals   281 195 176          
                     
Honours                    
2007     Lockwood Medal - Colts League Best and Fairest  
2012     Presidents Medal - A Grade Runner Up to Mail Medal
2006, 2007   Colts Captain          
2011, 2012, 2013   A Grade Captain          
2012, 2018   A Grade Premierships        

 

Mid West InterAssoc, Eyre Pennsula and State Country          
    May May   PA Cup May Kinlough   May Mortlock Eyre SA State
    U13 U15   U15 U17 U17   Seniors Shield Peninsula Country
2004   1                    
2005     1                  
2006     1   1              
2007             1          
2008           1 1     2    
2009 Port Adelaide Magpies
2010 Port Adelaide Magpies
2011                 2 2    
2012                 2 2 2  
2013                 2 2 2  
2014                   inj*    
2015                 1 2 2  
2016                 1 2 2 1
2017                        
2018                        
Totals   1 2   1 1 2   8 12 8 1
                         
Notes                        
Mortlock Carnival is two days of football Saturday/Monday. EP is two days of football Saturday/Sunday
Selected in SA v WA Country match, but withdrew due to injury sustained a week prior to match. Played Country v City match
* 2014 withdrew from Mortlock Shield side due to injury but served as runner for both matches
                         
Overall representative matches played 36              
                         
Other                        
Club Secretary                      
Delegate to League                    
Colts Coach and Runner                  



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