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Ron Willems


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Not sure if anyone else has heard this, but I recently read the Rams edition of the 'Match of my Life' books, and Marco Gabbiadini mentioned that Ron Willems was in an asylum in Holland at the time the book was written (2007 ish).


Does anyone else have any further info? I hope Ron is alright now - he was an integral part of Jim Smith's promotion team and it would be a shame if he was unwell.

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Just found this....



The Moscow Spartak duo appeared in all six Champions' League matches in the autumn. Willems could have done likewise, having helped Grasshopper of Zurich to the Swiss title last season, only to join Derby for pounds 300,000. What possessed him to do it?


The answer, in part, lies in the very room we are in, the directors' suite in the bowels of the Baseball Ground. Here, where Derby players once barricaded themselves in to demand Brian Clough's reinstatement, Willems gestures in awe at the trophies, mementoes and pictures of bygone Rams. This money-grabbing foreigner is, it transpires, a bit of a football romantic.


Even the location of the stadium, among a labyrinth of red-brick terraced houses near the city centre, influenced his choice. "Football is the people's game and it shouldn't be out of town in the country or the suburbs," he says, "though I know clubs sometimes have to move to make progress. Before games, you see the crowds going along the streets, which is exciting.


"People have said I must be crazy to leave Zurich for this. But we'd just won the championship and hardly anyone in the city seemed to have noticed. I wanted a fresh challenge, somewhere where football really matters. Here the grounds are full, the atmosphere's great and there's more strength in depth than in Europe."

A lot more here... 
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There's literally nothing on the blokes where abouts for over a five years.

Made a thread awhile ago asking the same question, nothing was answered unfortunately.

There's no pictures of Ron once he left the club, which was in 1998.

Hope he's ok, was one of my favourite players in the Smith promotion season.

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Scored a lovely goal towards Ossie End against Millwall (I think). And scored at Huddersfield to take us top in 95/96.


Shame - used to really like him.


I was at Huddersfield that day, think it was Boxing Day if my memory serves me correct and we took about 4000 fans and packed out the away end...oh how times have changed!

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I was at Huddersfield that day, think it was Boxing Day if my memory serves me correct and we took about 4000 fans and packed out the away end...oh how times have changed!

Me too - was only a youngster! We wore that rare gold away kit

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I know this is an old thread but I found this the other day on the Telegraph website.


Ron Willems former Ajax player will win the most important competition; which the existence of

ZWOLLE - more than a decade, no one had heard of him in professional football. And what had become of him, was therefore totally unknown. About many of the former clubs Ron Willems was at the end of the long season to report 2012/2013 is good news but the title of Ajax, the physical preservation of PEC Zwolle or cup for Grasshoppers in Switzerland could scarcely even his name . Out of sight, out of mind.

The easy-scoring forward from yesteryear now follows all sports operations with interest, but never is involved in professional football. ,, For he is deep and far come back, "said his brother Mike Ward, it now goes well with him. ,, He can, however, the questions about how it will not turn on, does not need more to come forward. "In the world

Brother Mike is doing today in Telesport for once explained how Ron Willems decays. With the consent of the former striker himself. It is, both, ensuring the first and last time they publicly tell their story.

Willems was between 1983 and 1998 a valued professional in PEC, Ajax, Twente, the Swiss Grasshoppers and last in England with Derby County. Then it went under with him, which was reported only that he was included. In a psychiatric clinic

Mike Willems, Ron has since been back again with PEC and once a match of FC Twente. That was because he knew from his English. Steve McClaren It was all too much for him. The only one who ever tried to take him was Jan Wouters. Jan was then stopped by briefly, but came at the wrong time. Then there's never been anybody. "

Thus relative fame and glory so. Willems was at that time a very deep depression after his career, the Ward family took him back from England in 2000. The striker had already behave differently. ,, We initially thought that he was overwrought. Whether it was because of a clash in football, "explains Mike Willems.

After investigation, the diagnosis was different: Ron Willems suffered from schizophrenia. He was admitted to a psychiatric clinic. , But that has only short-lived, "said his brother. , Ron refused to be treated and left. It is more common in that disease. It was maintained, because it was an open clinic. It can happen to anyone: you, me too. But Ron so. Revealed itself You do not be ashamed of. I find it admirable how he fought. "Himself out

Brother Mike tells of a downturn in all that time. , But also that he has overcome. We as a family have helped him a lot. With other people, he had at that time anyway no contact. "

Ron Willems then lived for a time only, but it does nowadays, totally aloof from the professional world of football, in all anonymity is a very ordinary life with which he is very happy. , Ron has a wife and two children. He lives in Zwolle, where he normally walks through the city. My brother is still crazy about football, but is it only through the radio and television. He regularly goes to look at his cousins, "said Mike Ward.

, Ron interfere with his family, keep the household running, and his wife works. He's a good guy with a good heart. Even we still hoped that he might be able to work in football, for example, as a scout. I can not, but he is happy. Happy with his life, with his family, and the other things he does. He leads, thanks to the medication, a normal life, away from the glitz and glamor that always surrounded him in football. There he now no more to give. "


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