Williams was surprised with ‘The Maurice Watkins CBE Lifetime Contribution Award’ for his services to the local community in Manchester, after leading the Club’s charity for over three decades.
Following his successful playing career, Williams became Head of City in the Community (CITC) in 1990, shaping the charity into one of the largest and most impactful football foundations in the country.
Speaking on stage at the North West Football Awards, Williams said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this award and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, as well as that many people who have been with me throughout my career.
“I actually grew up just 400 yards away from Maurice Watkins, so I like to think the award is going home tonight.
“It has been a privilege to support the people of Manchester with City in the Community and I am delighted to see the charity going from strength to strength. Thank you again.”
After spending 12 years on the leadership team as CITC Ambassador, where he continued to support the strategic development of the charity, Williams stepped away from his full-time role at the end of August this year.
Born in Moss Side, Manchester, Williams has devoted more than three decades to improving the lives of people in Greater Manchester, during which time he has helped to grow the charity from a team of just 12, to an outfit of more than 100.
Williams’ work and dedication to charity was recognised with his award of the MBE in 2002, presented by now King Charles III.
He has also maintained a special relationship with the Official Supporters Club, travelling the country to support their meetings and fundraising efforts.
The Lifetime Achievement Awards is named after Maurice Watkins CBE, who was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2011 after fundraising for the NHS Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity for more than 15 years.
Watkins also spent almost 30 years at Manchester United, with his other roles including head of sport law for Brabners Solicitors in Manchester, interim chairman of the Rugby Football League and director of Lancashire County Cricket Club.
City in the Community supports city youth to empower healthier lives through football.
Supporting people across Greater Manchester since 1986, programmes place physical and mental wellbeing at their core, whilst also creating healthy futures and healthy communities.
To find out more about City in the Community, visit www.mancity.com/CITC or follow @citcmancity on social media.