Fred Williams
refer to caption
Williams on a 1952 Bowman football card
No. 75, 77
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1929-02-08)February 8, 1929
Little Rock, Arkansas
Died:October 11, 2000(2000-10-11) (aged 71)
Heber Springs, Arkansas
Career information
High school:Little Rock Central
NFL Draft:1952 / Round: 5 / Pick: 56
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Fred Williams (February 8, 1929 – October 9, 2000) was an American football defensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. He went to four Pro Bowls during his 14-year career. Williams played college football at the University of Arkansas and was drafted in the fifth round of the 1952 NFL Draft.

Early life

Williams was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and attended Little Rock Central High School. While attending Little Rock Central, he played high school football and was a two-time All-State selection.[1] While in high school, Williams also won championships in basketball and boxing.[1]

College career

Williams attended and played college football at the University of Arkansas. He played in the 1952 Chicago College All-Star Game.[1] Williams was also a boxing and wrestling champion while attending Arkansas.[2]

Professional career

Williams was drafted in the fifth round of the 1952 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, where he played from 1952 to 1963 and was part of the Bears' 1963 NFL Championship team. He played defensive end and tackle with sporadic appearances at linebacker, a versatility that Chicago Tribune writer Cooper Rollow suggested led to his lack of accolades as he was never named All-Pro. Nicknamed "Fat Freddy", he was popular among fans and media for his humor, frequently joking about various team-related situations; in 1959, when asked if the Bears' defensive line was the best in the league, he remarked, "I don't know if we're the best, but we sure are the ugliest."[3]

In 1964, he was traded to the Washington Redskins, along with Angelo Coia, for the Redskins' sixth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, which they used to select Steve DeLong.[2] When the Redskins played Williams' former team that year, he was involved in a fight with Bears center Mike Pyle after Williams jumped offside and hit Pyle in the head with his forearm.[4] Williams spent two seasons in Washington.[3]


After retiring from the NFL, Williams became a liquor salesman.[3] He died from a stroke on October 9, 2000, in Heber Springs, Arkansas.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "ASHOF Inductee Profiles". Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  2. ^ a b "Williams, Coia Trade to Redskins". The Palm Beach Post. June 8, 1964. p. 9. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Larkin, Will (July 22, 2019). "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 46, Fred Williams". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Rollow, Cooper (October 26, 1964). "A 'Black Cloud' Shrouds Bears". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 17, 2020 – via
  5. ^ "Fred Williams dies of stroke at 71". Log Cabin Democrat. October 11, 2000. Retrieved 2015-07-02.