Peter Wilson was an imposing figure on and off the football field with his long, flowing blond locks and bushy moustache. His teammates called him "Willy" and were ready to go into battle for him at any moment. He was a true leader and a tower of strength all over the park.
Wilson was born in a town called Felling, about two kilometres south-east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 15 September 1947. His professional football career began with Middlesbrough in 1966, managing just one game in the senior side. Unable to make it in England, he made the decision to move to Australia in 1969 at the age of 22.
He joined South Coast United in the New South Wales First Division, playing 62 games until his move to Marconi in 1972. He would go on to play for Safeway United, Western Suburbs and APIA Leichhardt before retiring in 1982.
As captain of the Socceroos, Wilson played a pivotal role in qualifying for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany. Australia's first appearance at the Finals. He led the Socceroos in all three group stage games, wearing the number 3 shirt, in the centre of defence with German-born Manfred Schaefer.
The Socceroos would not progress from the group. However, against Chile, earned Australia's maiden World Cup point after a 0-0 draw in torrential rain. Coach Rale Rasic said, "He was a leader in every sense. The players thought the world of him and would die for him."
Unfortunately, at the end of his career, he had a falling out with club officials. Wilson decided to walk away from the game for good. He has been a football recluse ever since. Never once has he ventured out to discuss his experiences or talk about football in Australia.
These days, he lives somewhere near Wollongong, south of Sydney. A man removed from football.
Have you seen Peter Wilson?
Have You Seen Peter Wilson? T-shirt
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