Jump to content

When OO interviewed Bartman

Recommended Posts

A few years back, a OO member, who is now the infamous @Geoff_SWFC on twitter interviewed Chris Bart Williams, and here’s the transcript of that chat.




You Joined Wednesday at a time where we had a successful team full of internationals and big characters, were you daunted and how did they welcome you?

I was welcomed tremendously. I walked through the changing room door with Trevor Francis and was sat between Viv Anderson and Nigel Jemson, 2 very interesting characters to say the least.

Viv was probably the biggest character, he epitomized being fun, serious and focused all in one.  

The squad was full of great players and great men who made life very easy for me and I got to focus on football.

The weekend you made your debut, there was a feature on you on Saint and Greavsie with the Bartman song, did you like the song?

I loved it, loved the Simpsons! It was great making my debut and having that exposure straight away. It’s funny because it’s only at Wednesday I am known as the Bartman, at Forest it’s just Chris. It’s very endearing. 

Do you still have the match ball from the Southampton hattrick?

Absolutely I have it signed by the team. 

What was your best position?

If not, central midfield I’d have to say withdrawn striker. Not out wide. Was it frustrating for me playing out wide? Yes because I had no pace and no because I just loved playing.

Have you ever been involved in a better team performance than that first half at Blackburn in the Coca Cola cup semi final first leg of 1993? 

It’s difficult to say really. Certainly, it was one of the best during my time at Sheffield Wednesday. It really was astonishing to be a part of.  

Were you and the rest of the squad friendly with any of the United players and did it mean as much as it did to us to beat them in the FA Cup semi final?

God yes! Whilst we were friendly and cordial off the field if we saw them out, we desperately wanted to beat them on the field. We never showed them any disrespect, just wanted to beat them.

What were you listening to in those headphones on the bench?

Haha! Well, I just wanted to stay focused and get rid of the disappointment of not starting. I didn’t want to look like I was sulking on the bench and I was trying not to frown. Francis never said a word to me about the headphones. It was hard for me at the time because I was still a kid and was being treated like a seasoned professional by Trevor and the staff. 

I was listening to a mixture of various soul, rap and reggae and music helped calm me down.

 What are your memories of Paul Warhurst initial refusal to play defence in the final?

Well, I know he enjoyed the change moving from defence to striker and he went on an absolutely phenomenal run. As for the final, I think you have to appreciate how difficult it is having the completely different mind set of playing striker and Paul didn’t feel that he would be able to go back and do as good a job with the transition. 

When Paul moved to forward he had no fear and no pressure, then you’re asking him to go back to defence in a cup final having had a completely different mindset for such a long run. Looking back I think he had a fear of disappointing people 

Do you think Trevor Francis broke up that team too quickly?

Yes, there was a vast shift in dynamic. There is always time to change but I think that worked against Trevor after being very successful. 

What are your memories of the Eric Cantona trial? 

Eric stayed at the same hotel I did when first arriving in Sheffield. We spent time together as he needed someone to show him around.

Was clear to see he was a very good player, even from the limited indoor play. However, other factors may have interfered with his decision not to remain at the club.

Best players played with/against?

With - Waddler, Robbie Fowler, Sol Campbell, Jamie Redknapp, Ian Wright

Against - Gazza, John Barnes, Jan Molby, Paul Scholes, Lothar Matthaus

Favourite Wednesday goal?

I have two, 1 at Southampton (93-94 season) and the other would be scoring away at Leeds. 

Did the players know who the Hillsborough mole was?

No did anybody ever find out? I remember us thinking “what is this all about?” I guess it was a player who just wasn’t happy at the time. It 100% wasn’t Pressman!

Were you pissed off at Ryan Jones for stealing the goal from you at Man City having beaten so many players to slide in?

I didn’t realise it at the time he told me on the bus afterwards. I said “Are you kidding me?” I was slightly pissed off, I probably got over it pretty quickly, more shocked I suppose than pissed off.

Who did you room with, any stories?

It was either Mike Williams or Graham Hyde. Hydey  was a good man, I loved his humour. (I told Chris about him losing his job as manager at Telford) I didn’t see him going in to management but I’d probably not have seen myself going in to coaching as I have done. 

Any regrets with leaving, how did that come about?

Well , this is the truth and it’s simple really. Wednesday provided me with an amazing opportunity but how they let my contract get to the stage it did was disturbing. I signed one contract in my entire time at Wednesday, the one I signed when I came as a 17 year old from Leyton Orient. I was being treated as a seasoned pro on that one contract. It was like they forgot to take care of me.

At the time, if a manager had a good player they would talk to the media about how good this player was and get them recognition internationally. Although I was called up a couple of times to the under 21’s, I didn’t have a manager talking about how good I was, I didn’t feel valued.

The first time they started talking about my contract was six months before it ended and I just didn’t feel as valued as I should.I knew joining Forest, having worked with the manager previously, that Frank Clark would reward and look after me.

You joined another big club in Forest, how did they compare to Wednesday?

I couldn’t separate who is the bigger club, both massive. I walked in through the doors at Forest and felt a lot of pressure to succeed with the history. Forest had a different style and I don’t think their fans liked me for the first 18 months as the transition was hard for me.

Seeing Kei Kamara get credited with being the first player from Sierra Leone to score in the Premiership, did it feel like you had been forgotten about?

No, it’s wonderful, fantastic. I guess someone just forgot, I don’t have a big ego so no problem for me, people think I am English anyway. Trevor gave me my first experience in England, I was so lucky for that and it’s great to see young players getting a chance.

I am going to give you some names, say what comes in to your head:

Pressman- Glass empty person but a great guy, proper Wednesdayite.

Woods- Little legs, great way of explaining things.

Did he take the 93 final mistake hard? 

Yes, but it should never have got to that point. We had the chances over 2 games to win. It wasn’t his fault, WE were at fault as we missed the opportunities. 

NilssonMr professional, what more can you say?

WorthingtonBarney was jeckyl and hyde, so funny and then so serious

WalkerMr easy, took everything in his stride

PearsonSkip, a true Wednesday player, so committed. 

PalmerOh my god! Carlton is Carlton, I think that sums it up haha

HarkesYank! Made me laugh, see him on tv now.

WaddleBlessed. Brilliant, phenomenal, one of the true great English footballers. Wonderful to play with.

SheridanMy mentor! Passing range amazing, wonderful to watch and play with.

BrightLoved the back stick! Never seen somebody get so angry if you didn’t cross it

HirstThe punisher. We would play young v old in training, he’d be on the old team. We’d have 10 shots and not score, he’d have 1 and score. If he had stayed healthy and fit he would have been as good as Shearer.

SintonQuiet man, good player with both feet, we played different to QPR so transition was hard.

AndersonHim and Skip ran the dressing room. Surprised at his impact having watched him on the tv for so many years. Captain without needing to be the captain.

KingAlways needed a hug! Any Wednesday fan next time you see him, please give him a hug from me!

Watson Haha the nickname epitomises  him, flash!

WarhurstHe was quiet but if he said something you listened. 


Hope you enjoyed our look back at the chat we had with Bartman, a few years ago. Rest In Peace Chris, gone but never forgotten.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • HoylandOwl changed the title to When OO interviewed Bartman
1 hour ago, Owling_Wolf said:

What a wonderful, joyous read that is, Tee. Especially now.  Was it done by Geoff when both had moved to the States?  And were the questions his or yours or even from the posters?  

Done by Geoff in the states, all his own work IIRC

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...