Born in Penfford, near Maenclochog, on July 9th 1962, Williams learned his rugby at Ysgol Preseli and later moved to Narberth rugby club. He represented Pembrokeshire before joining Neath RFC in 1983 and formed and all-farming front row with Kevin Phillips and John Davies.
Williams made more than 250 appearances for the Welsh All Blacks between 1983 and 1995. In that time he played against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa for the club and helped them to win the WRU Challenge Cup twice, the inaugural Heineken League title and two Western Mail championships.
He was also at the heart of the side that set new world tries (385) and points (1,917) records for a season in 1988-1989. Four years after retiring he made a cameo appearance for the club against Georgia and was at The Gnoll last weekend for the players reunion at the Principality Premiership match with Llandovery.
Williams's five appearances for Wales came in 1990 and 1991. His debut was against Scotland in Cardiff in 1990 and his final appearance came against England in 1991.
Tributes to Brian Williams
Kevin Phillips, life-long friend and front row colleague for Neath and Wales
"The one word that keeps coming into my mind, and into those of so many other people, to describe Brian is 'unique'. I've never met another man like him. He had total strength and commitment on a rugby field with a will to win that was simply fantastic and infectious. He was a joy to play alongside because you knew that other teams feared him.
"I can remember playing against an English team at The Gnoll and getting a tough time from their hooker and tight-head prop. A few words in Welsh in Brian's ear solved all the problems - the next time I saw the prop he couldn't open one of his eyes. I can remember when Brian had an accident on his farm with a nine inch angle grinder. He almost severed his wrist and was told by many people he would never be able to play again.
"That was like a red rag to a bull and simply made him more determined to prove everyone wrong. No other man could have come back to play after an injury like that, but Brian did.
"Rugby has lost a great player, I've lost a great friend and the village of Llangolman has lost the heart of its community. If anyone needed any help, Brian would be there before the phone had been put down. What a man - unique!"
Jeff Probyn, England Grand Slam prop
"He was very fit, very strong and very hard - and an excellent technician. I can still remember packing down against him in Cardiff in 1991 in an England side that was expected to push Wales all over the field. We failed to do so, even at a scrum on the Welsh line. I always rated him very highly as an opponent."
David Pickering, WRU Chairman
"I played with and coached Brian at Neath and I cannot recall ever having seen a fitter player in rugby. He was uncompromising, never knew the meaning of defeat and was a fantastic forward. We fashioned the style of play at Neath around Brian and our mobile forwards. He was the leading light at the club and a man that everyone revered and followed."
Roger Lewis, WRU Group Chief Executive
"Our thoughts now are with Brian's family - his wife Gwen and daughters Marie and Betsan - and friends following their very sad loss and we offer them our heartfelt condolences. Brian will be missed as a man and remembered as a great prop forward and rugby player in the all-conquering Neath side and for Wales. He was a typical farmer and boasted incredible strength and stamina which gave him an awesome presence on the field. He may have been considerably lighter than many of the props he played against but his strength, skill and power always gave him an edge."
Gareth Llewellyn, Wales's most capped forward who played for club and country with Brian
"Brian was amazing, he was the fittest and most powerful man I ever played rugby with. Pound for pound he was the strongest man in the game. He brought mental toughness and hardness to Neath and gave us all the lead in those areas. The Neath team of the late eighties and early nineties was one of the best sides I have ever played in and it was down to players like Brian that we were so successful and revered."
Paul Thorburn, former Neath and Wales team mate
"Words cannot explain how many of us are feeling at the moment. This has come as a complete shock and all our thoughts are with his wife, Gwen, his daughters and the Williams family. Brian will go down in the history of Neath RFC as one of its heroes and he will be sorely missed by all of his friends."