Fara Williams has revealed that personal problems with her now ex-wife contributed to her ‘rocky’ time at Arsenal that saw her move on after just one season.
Fara Williams signed for Arsenal from Liverpool in 2016 but was on her way again in the summer of 2017 after just 22 appearances.
“I’m certainly happier now off the field and that definitely helps,” Williams told The Sunday Telegraph. That happiness is certainly reflected in her form on the pitch with four goals in eight Super League games for Reading this season.
Williams’ life has certainly not been an easy one. Although she made her England debut at 17, she was also homeless for six years at the same time. But it was her new marriage that led to difficulties when she arrived at Arsenal.
Williams was married to former Everton teammate, Amy Kane, but that relationship fell apart within weeks of taking their vows and her joining Arsenal.
“Footballers are just normal people,” she said. “In life you have difficult periods and at Arsenal I certainly had that. It really affected the way I played. I moved from home, which was Liverpool at the time. I found it very difficult to settle.
“If I did it again, I probably also wouldn’t talk again until I was comfortable,” she adds. “It wasn’t until I was over it that I was ready to open up about it, but by then it was probably too late, performance-wise.”
Awarded an MBE for her charitable works with young homeless people, as well as her footballing feats, Williams is now in a new relationship with Leah Jones, the Millwall midfielder.
“Even before the new relationship I was happier, I was over my previous relationship. I think it took me a long time to get over it, but now I don’t think the new relationship is making me happier. I’m certainly happier now off the field and I think that definitely helps going into training every day.
“There are more opportunities for people to get support where they need it. For me, the game is definitely changing, where people’s stories are more heard than they were before. There’s a platform now for people to get the support they need.”