Testimonials & Case Studies

Jean was a fantastic guest on the podcast. She's knowledgeable, passionate, and made a big subject accessible and lively for a general audience. The whole team really enjoyed her contribution!

You can listen to the podcast ​here.

Greg Jenner
Host of BBC Radio 4 You’re Dead To Me: The History of Football
Professor Jean Williams' expert knowledge and passion for the subject helped guide us through some of the most fascinating moments in sports history.

You can watch the interview here.
Dan Snow
'Professor Jean Williams' input was invaluable to this documentary. Before we met her we knew snippets about the history of women's football, but she enlightened us about the extent of their struggle and brought the documentary alive with her on camera presence. I was surprised with her knowledge of worldwide women's sport especially during the 50 year ban, and with particular reference to the unofficial women's world cup in 1971.'

Tom Purvis, Producer
"Jean gave a historical perspective on the way women's football developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, setting it against the backdrop of the women's suffragette movement. She explained clearly, succinctly and without the use of jargon, how women's football was used as a means of emancipation, but also, after it was banned, as a way of exerting control.
She was able to cite examples of key influential figures like Nettie Honeyball and Lady Florence Dixie and explain what they did and how groundbreaking they were. Jean also gave a political insight into the women's game, explaining how little money is pumped into it in comparison to men's football, and how women have had to relaunch football for themselves, both pre and post the FA ban. She is a very engaging interviewee because she is passionate about her subject and holds strong opinions."

Jane Hesketh
ITV Central News
​‘Jean has worked very effectively with the National Football Museum on a number of exhibitions, not least The World Cup in 24 Objects and the 1966 World Cup Exhibition’ Dr Kevin Moore Director The National Football Museum and Chair of Sport in Museums network

Jean has worked with The National Football Museum, Manchester on a number of initiatives since 2006 including:

Academic consultant for Hall of Fame elections; Walk of Fame selections and polls, and letters of professional support for Heritage Lottery Fund projects, including the 1966 Exhibition and obtaining the Chris Ungar collection on the history of women’s football. Jean co-wrote and co-curated the exhibition A History of The World Cup in 24 Objects for which she obtained almost £30,000 in funding, and is currently a participant in the Football and Art: Collecting Cultures workshops.
‘Jean’s input was invaluable in helping us place our chosen topic within a clear and accessible historical context. Her ability to translate a complex mass of information into engaging material was pivotal to the success of the exhibition.’
Ben Wilson
Head of Communications, The Supreme Court London

In the approach to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Jean worked with The Supreme Court, London as part of a five person core team to develop Playing by the Rules: Sport and the Law exhibition, also supported by the British Association for Sport and Law (BASL). The free exhibition offered an introduction to how the legal profession has helped support the development and financing of sport over the years – as well as taking a look at some lawyers who have competed on an Olympic stage.

Using case studies and pinpointing key moments in Olympic history, we aimed to raise some of the big questions and challenges that have faced the professionalisation of sport, such as the dangers of commercialisation, balancing the rights of players, clubs and fans, and supporting equality and diversity. Inevitably only a starting point for this extensive topic, the exhibition hoped to spark memories and debate about the issues and opportunities which have arisen from the huge growth of sport as a business.

The exhibition included:
▪The story of how the Olympic movement tentatively moved from strict rules on amateurism to today’s professional arena;
▪Brief profiles of past and present ‘Team GB’ members who have also practiced in law;
▪How UK court and tribunal cases involving footballers, horse trainers and boxers helped clarify the rights of sportspeople;
▪An introduction to the role of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and some of the most significant cases it has heard;
Exhibits from the 1908 and 1948 London Games, including medals and programmes (kindly loaned by ASA/British Swimming).
‘I’ve been delighted to work with Jean Williams on a number of ventures related to the history of women’s judo. Jean’s expertise, enthusiasm and energy is a real asset for any project.’
Dr Mike Callan President, International Association of Judo Researchers, and Senior Lecturer, University of Chichester.

​'Beyond her own extensive research, Professor Williams is a great advocate of sports-related archives and special collections. Her publications demonstrate their ongoing relevance, while her support has helped to underline the continuing importance of preserving unique and distinctive materials that document all aspects of our sporting history.'
Elizabeth Richmond, University of Bath, Special Collections.

Jean provided consultancy and academic support in the process of applying to UNESCO for the Richard Bowen Collection judo archives, University of Bath to be included on the UK Register as part of the Memory of the World project. I dealt with Justin Cavernells-Frost of the Rothschild collection in this regard as well as writing a letter of recommendation. 

The University of Bath Special Collections also has an extensive archive of hockey collections, and I have written the entries for hockey administrators Edith Thomson and Hilda Light in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. In 2017, Jean will begin to work with the National Hockey Museum on a funded PhD project which will help showcase their collections. ​​
'I worked with Professor Jean Williams when I was making a BBC film about Women's Rowing and the history of the Women's Boat Race with Clare Balding. At very short notice, she provided invaluable and comprehensive research material. She was also an impressive on-screen interviewee who was quick to understand our brief and how best to present the information we needed.'
Producer / Director Halina Kierkuc

Other media consultancy has included co-writing the 30 series episodes for Sport and the British, presented by Clare Balding on BBC Radio 4 in 2012, appearing on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, and Late Night Women's Hour with Lauren Laverne, Sky Arts with Benjamin Zephaniah, and In Conversation with David Baddiel at Cultural Exchanges. Jean has provided research consultancy and appeared on several documentaries on the history of sport, sites of historic sporting heritage and sport and the arts. Jean is currently working on a Channel 4 documentary on the history of women's football, to be aired to mark the opening of the Women's Euro competitions in July 2017.