Recalling WHS All-Star Mike Williams, ‘A Bolt of Lightning on a Sunny Day’

“A bolt of lightning on a sunny day” was used to describe Winthrop High School’s All-Star running back Mike Williams, Class of 1959. Williams scored three touchdowns in a single game for Winthrop High against Amesbury High at Miller Field during the 1958 football season, the phrase was coined by the Winthrop Transcript reporter, Bob Remer that day.  Mike Williams was un-stoppable, ferocious as a football player and a speed demon as a member of the WHS track team, holding numerous track records for many years at WHS.

After graduating from WHS, Williams went to the University of Southern Illinois, where he played football with 3 future NFL players. In 1960 the Boston Patriots invited Mike to try out for the team and was signed as a member of the kick-off return squad. Shortly after that, tragedy struck the future Patriot, he was involved in an auto accident that ended his career.

Mike left college and in 1961 he joined the army and served his country with honor. Upon completing his tour as a soldier, Mike returned to his home in Winthrop. He opened Mike’s Barber Shop on the corner of Beach and Shirley Streets. Mike being Mike and a competitor, used his passion for 10 pin bowling to become a pro bowler, appearing on many TV tournaments for 10 years.

Mike Williams has two loving sisters, Karen Hanafin WHS Class of 69, and an educator in Winthrop Public Schools for nine years, now living in Florida. Mike’s other sister, Marie, WHS Class of 61, lives in California. Mike’s niece, Jess Hanafin lives with him in Winthrop in the family home. Mike Williams is just one of the many personalities that make Winthrop one of the most wonderful places to call home.

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