Charlie Williams (1927-2006)
Charles Adolphus Williams MBE was a mixed-race English professional footballer (one of the first black players in British football after the Second World War, and later became Britain's first well-known black stand-up comedian, delivering his catchphrase, "me old flower" in his broad Yorkshire accent.
Williams was born in Royston, a small mining village near Barnsley. After leaving school aged 14, he worked at Upton Colliery. He played football for the colliery team, before turning professional, and signing for Doncaster Rovers in 1948, aged 19. A centre-half, he played for the first team in 1950, but then remained in the reserves until 1955, when he became an established first team player for four years.
After retiring from football in 1959, Williams tried his hand as a singer in local working men's clubs, but it was his comic chat between the songs that was best received, so he decided to move into comedy full-time.
He reached the pinnacle of his comedy career in the early 1970s. In 1972, he spent a six-month season at the London Palladium; presented his own show, It's Charlie Williams, on Granada Television; appeared on This is Your Life; and appeared at the Royal Variety Performance. In 1973, he presented a one-off special Charlie Williams Show on BBC2, and published an autobiography, Ee - I've Had Some Laughs. He was also the host of ATV's popular game show The Golden Shot for a short six-month period from late 1973 to early 1974
Williams was awarded the MBE in 1999 for his charity work.