Peter Wilson (footballer, born 1947)

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Peter Wilson
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-N0615-0012, Fußball-WM, DDR - Australien 2-0.jpg
Wilson (left) shaking hands with East Germany's Bernd Bransch before their match at the 1974 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Peter Frederick Wilson
Date of birth (1947-09-15) 15 September 1947 (age 69)
Place of birth Felling, England
Playing position Sweeper
Youth career
St. Mary's Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1968 Middlesbrough FC 1 (0)
1968–1969 Gateshead FC 2 (0)
1969–1971 South Coast United 62 (0)
1972 Club Marconi 21 (1)
1973–1974 Safeway United 44 (0)
1975–1978 Western Suburbs 83 (3)
1979–1982 APIA Leichhardt 86 (2)
National team
1970–1979 Australia 65 (3)
Teams managed
1973–1974 Safeway United
1982 APIA Leichhardt
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 August 2007.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 August 2007

Peter Frederick Wilson (born 15 September 1947[1]) is an Australian former soccer player. He was the captain of the Australian squad at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. His nickname is Big Willie and his position was sweeper.


Often regarded as one of the toughest defenders in the modern era, Wilson was a dominating figure in the Australian team in the 1970s. Born in Felling, England in 1947, Wilson migrated to Australia in 1969 to join South Coast United after failing to break into the first team for English club Middlesbrough. He started his career as full back but injury to another player switched him to sweeper where he had his biggest success.

Between 1970–79, he made a then-record 116 appearances for the national team, and captained Australia from 1971, including the 1974 World Cup finals. When he signed with Sydney club Western Suburbs, Wilson travelled 257 kilometres four times a week for training. He also played with Marconi and APIA Leichhardt and in later years coached South Coast and APIA.

Peter Wilson is now living as a recluse near Wollongong in New South Wales. After not speaking publicly for more than two decades, an Australian newspaper tracked him down and reported that he was living in a small town south of Sydney. "There's nothing I want to say," he said. "I've got nothing to add."[2]

His last match for Australia was a home friendly against Partizan Belgrade on 29 June 1979. The match ended a 1–1 draw.[3]

Internationals and achievements[edit]

  • A-Internationals: 65 (4 November 1970 – 13 June 1979)
  • 60 games as captain[4], 3 goals
  • 116 games for Australian (incl. Test games 133)
  • 14 games for New South Wales (6 as captain)
  • Friendship Cup tournament in Vietnam 1970
  • Asia/Oceania Champion 1973
  • 1974 FIFA World Cup Australian captain


  1. ^ Match report, including date of birth
  2. ^
  3. ^ Oz Football. "Socceroo 1979 B Matches". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  4. ^ "The Australian National Men's Football Team: Caps and Captains" (PDF). 12 October 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 

External links[edit]