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Banks Williams, Super Bowl XXV official, has passed away



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Banks Boothe Williams, 1932-2019

Banks Williams, an NFL back judge (the position name is now the field judge) from 1978 to 1994 passed away in April at the age of 86. Williams, a Texas native, wore uniform number 99 for most of his career.

Wlliams got started in officiating in the 1960s, working his way up through the high school and college ranks, becoming an official in the old Southwest Conference. He joined the NFL in 1978, when the league expanded to seven-person crews.

In his 17-year NFL career, Williams worked 10 playoff games: two wild cards, six divisionals, the 1988 NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl XXV. He also worked two Pro Bowls, retiring after the 1994 contest.

Williams broke in on referee Cal Lepore’s crew. He was on the field for the original Miracle at the Meadowlands his rookie season (video). Over the years he also worked on crews lead by Tom Dooley, Bob McElwee, Jim Tunney, Johnny Grier and Tom White.Â

Perhaps the most famous call in his career occurred in Super Bowl XXV when he called Scott Norwood’s game-winning field goal attempt “wide right.”

After retiring, Williams served as a replay official for Conference USA. Off the field, Williams worked as a vice president at Houston Shell and Concrete.Â

Williams leaves behind Dorthy, his wife of 62 years, three children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Our sympathies to all who knew Banks Williams and loved him. The text of his obituary appears below.

Banks Williams, 86, passed away surrounded by his family after a brief illness. After retiring as a VP at Houston Shell and Concrete, Banks and Dorothy moved to Bentwater in Montgomery, Texas where he enjoyed golf. His other career was as a football referee. Starting in the 1960s in Pee-Wee, working up through High School, Southwest Conference and ultimately the NFL including Super Bowl 25.Â
Survived by wife of 62 years, Dorothy; children, Lisa Martinson (Clark), Bruce Williams (Julie) and Toni Abell; Big Daddy to his grandchildren, Wiley Robertson & Anna Martinson, Megan Williams Palisin (Robert), Christopher, Banks (Inge), Dakota & Sierra Williams, Randy & Sarah Abell and 10 great-grandchildren; brother, Lowell Williams (Karen); and sister-in-law, Imogene Bowen. Banks’ life was filled with family, friends, football, faith and golf. He approached life as an athlete, he worked hard at all things that were important to him, especially his relationships. If you were with him, he made you feel as if you were his favorite. Banks was our favorite.Â
A celebration of Banks’ life will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2019 at Willis First United Methodist Church, 200 N Thomason St., Willis, TX 77378. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Willis First United Methodist Church or your favorite charity. Those desiring to post tributes or memories to the family may do so at

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"