Paul Wilson (footballer, born 1950)

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For other people of the same name, see Paul Wilson.
Paul Wilson
Personal information
Date of birth (1950-11-23) 23 November 1950 (age 64)
Place of birth Bangalore, India
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1978 Celtic 129 (30)
1967–1970 Maryhill (loan)
1978–1979 Motherwell 21 (1)
1979–1980 Partick Thistle 10 (0)
1980–19xx Blantyre Celtic
National team
1975 Scotland 1 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Paul Wilson (born Bangalore, India, 23 November 1950), is a former internationalist Scottish professional footballer.

His football career peaked in season 1974/75 after being moved to play as a striker when he scored 29 goals for Celtic including two in that season's cup final win. He was selected to play for Scotland that season making him the only non white player to represent the full Scotland team in the 20th century. Following his mother's death his enthusiasm for football diminished before leaving the professional game at the age of 29.[1]

Early years[edit]

Wilson was born in Bangalore, India.[1] His Scottish father was stationed there with the Royal Air Force, where he met Wilson's Dutch-Portuguese mother. The family moved to Scotland when Paul was one year old.[1]



Legendary Celtic manager Jock Stein signed Wilson for the club in 1967. Stein immediately farmed him out to Scottish Junior club, Maryhill, to gain experience before returning to break into the first team in the early 1970s. Wilson had dark skin tone and received racist abuse during his football career during Old Firm games.[1][2]

Stein moved the elegant Wilson to play up front for the 1974/75 season where he outscored his friend and strike partner, Kenny Dalglish, with 29 goals. This culminated with Wilson scoring two goals in the 3–1 victory over Airdrie in the 1975 Scottish Cup Final. This was also the season he was selected to play for Scotland.[1]

Wilson's mother died in the week leading up to the final against Airdrie. He later stated his mother's death was the source of his waning enthusiasm for football. This was not helped by a niggling injury requiring cortisone injections. He remained at Celtic until 1978, moving to Motherwell for one season before finishing his senior career at the end of the 1980 season with Partick Thistle at the age of 29.[1]

After his spell at Thistle he was tempted into junior football by ex team mate Jimmy Johnstone with Blantyre Celtic,[1] winning a junior international cap.


Wilson gained one international cap for Scotland in 1975, coming on as a substitute for Kenny Burns in a European Championship qualifier 1–1 draw against Spain in Valencia in which Joe Jordan had put the Scots ahead.[3][4][5] Wilson was the only non-white player to be selected by the full Scotland international team during the 20th century.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Smith, Andrew (10 October 2011). "Interview: Paul Wilson on Stein, Celtic and racial abuse in the 1970s". The Scotsman. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Gilroy, Carrington and McDonald (2001). 'Race', sport, and British society. p. 42. ISBN 0-415-24629-6. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  3. ^ The Scottish Football Association, Cup Competitions
  4. ^ Greig, Martin (25 November 2006). "Ideally suited to face up to racism Why the boy from Possil is mystified over Scots game". The Herald. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Paul Wilson at

External links[edit]