Former Nottingham Forest Midfielder Chris Bart-Williams Dies at 49

Tragedy struck the footballing world after Chris Bart-Williams, former Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest midfielder passed away suddenly at 49 in the US where he was serving as mentor and coach. News of his passing came shortly after that of former teammate Trevor Francis’ death was made known.

Sheffield Wednesday released a statement expressing their profound grief, drawing attention to the eerie coincidence of Bart-Williams’ untimely passing coinciding with that of his former manager at Hillsborough, Trevor Francis. The clubs offered their heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of both legendary players during this somber period.

Bart-Williams began his footballing journey as a trainee with Leyton Orient at age 16, making his debut soon thereafter at age 17. Over 150 appearances followed for Sheffield Wednesday – including several Premier League debuts as a teenager – before making an impressive PS2.5 million move to Nottingham Forest, where he made over 248 games during that season alone.

Bart-Williams later had stints with Charlton and Ipswich before venturing into coaching in the United States. Initially involved in women’s college football, he identified himself as a “coach, college recruiter, former footballer” on his social media accounts. Bart-Williams also served as the owner and chief executive officer of CBW Soccer Elite, a US College Soccer recruiting agency dedicated to helping college-bound players.

Last year, Bart-Williams assumed the role of head coach overseeing all football programs at Dade County in Florida. The news of his passing was met with shock and sorrow, particularly by his former teammate Mark Crossley, who played alongside Bart-Williams at Nottingham Forest. In a heartfelt tweet, Crossley expressed his devastation at losing both Trevor Francis and his former teammate at such a young age, bidding them farewell with the words “RIP Trevor and Chris.”

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Ipswich, another club associated with Bart-Williams during his career, also extended their sympathies. Social media posts by the club expressed their sorrow over the passing of their former player with words to the effect that “once a Blue, always a Blue.

Bart-Williams made 16 appearances for England Under-21s and earned his B cap in 1994, leaving a lasting legacy that will be fondly remembered and respected by his colleagues in the footballing community.

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