FORMER Wrexham manager Alvan Williams, who laid the foundations of the club's first structured youth development programme, died yesterday, aged 71.
Although not the most successful manager in Racecourse history, his youth policy produced rich dividends in the 1970s.
It was the Anglesey-born centre-forward's legacy to the club he served as both player and manager during a career spanning 12 years after he arrived at Wrexham in 1956 following two league appearances for Bury.
But his initial stay lasted only one season - 13 games, 7 goals - before he moved on to Bradford Park Avenue and later Exeter City before returning to North Wales to play for Bangor City, where he ended his playing career in 1963.
The following year he was appointed manager of Hartlepool United before moving on the following year to take over the reins at Southend United.
In April 1967 he was appointed Wrexham boss in place of Jack Rowley, bringing with him first-team coach John Neal and United players Ray Smith and Steve Ingle.
In his first Fourth Division campaign, Wrexham finished just six points off promotion but Williams fell out with the club's directors before the start of the 1968 season, left and was succeeded by Neal.
That marked the end of his involvement with football and Williams went into the licensed trade.
He later ran the Ship Inn in Bala for a number of years and was also an infrequent visitor to the Racecourse until as recently as last season.
Williams recently received a special merit award from the FA of Wales for his services to the game.