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11th Sep 2016

Ashley Williams changed Subbuteo forever when he was just nine years old

“Yes, it is true that I wrote to the company that makes Subbuteo”

Rob Burnett

Ashley Williams captained Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 this summer – but his biggest contribution to football culture happened when he was just nine-years-old.

The former Swansea skipper, who sealed a £10million move to Everton this summer was a keen player of Subbuteo when he was a boy – but couldn’t work out why there were no black players in the England team.

He decided to write to the makers of the game to ask why.

“Yes, it is true that I wrote to the company that makes Subbuteo,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

I don’t really remember too much about it, but I asked my mum why there were no black players in my England teams.

There was no John Barnes or Des Walker and I wanted to know why. My mum thought it was a good question, so we sent in a letter.

“I didn’t stand on a mountain shouting about it. I was just a kid asking a question. But they changed it. They introduced black players – and they also sent me a load of Subbuteo stuff. The only problem was that I didn’t play the game properly and I ended up breaking most of it!”

4th May 1973: Colin Lewis (left) and Gerard Brierley killing time before the Cup Final at Wembley between Leeds and Sunderland with a pre match Game of Subbuteo Table Football outside Hamleys toy shop. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)(Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Williams has played three matches for Everton so far this season – and has helped them to victory in every single one. He will be hoping for more of the same when the Toffees face former boss David Moyes at Sunderland on Monday night.

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