Squash | Inducted: 2003
Born Subiaco, W.A.
22 April, 1956
Dean Williams was born in the wrong era.
Williams grew up on a squash court with his parents' part-owners of a squash centre. His enthusiasm and appetite for the sport saw him improve quickly and he found himself on the developing world circuit at 18. Unfortunately, two of the greatest players of all time, Australia's Geoff Hunt and Pakistan's Jahangir Khan, were waiting for him. More often than not it was one of those champions who stopped him in tournaments over the next decade.
After turning back on a promising tennis career, during which he was a member of WA's 1973 Linton Cup team, Williams became the first WA male player to win a national junior title and to be selected in a national senior team. His career subsequently produced 125 tournament victories, including 25 on the international circuit.
He played in 20 consecutive Australian Open Championships, winning the title in 1977. He was runner-up four times, twice to Hunt, once to Jahangir and once to Tristan Nancarrow. To this time (2003), Williams remains the only West Australian to have won an Australian Open title.
In arguably his best tournament performance, Williams lost the 1982 World Open title in four sets to Jahangir before a record crowd in Birmingham, England. In ten consecutive appearances at the World Open he made the quarter finals six times and he reached the same stage of the British Open three times in the same period. He was ranked number two in the world in 1982 and held a top ten place for five years despite having to take time out of the sport to recover from a motor vehicle accident.
Williams won successive World Cups for Australia with Rhonda Thorne and was undefeated in WA from 1974-87. In 1991 he added the inaugural World Masters title (over 35) to his imposing record.