He was desperately unlucky not to compete for New Zealand at an Olympics and went closest in 1964 when he was omitted from the team for Tokyo only because he was training in California and not seen by the selectors.
No one else questioned his ability and temperament for the big time though and he proved two years after Tokyo when he won the decathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Kingston.
He won it in punishing circumstances too, the second day of the event stretching out to eight hours and the medals came down to the final event, the 1500 metres.
Williams had to stay within 200 metres of Welshman Clive Longe to win. And he did.
He and Yvette Williams are brother and sister.
Roy Williams tells his tale in Sports Crazy – a Lifetime in Kiwi Sport. Click here for more information