Quotes from the media, players and coaches about Peter Wilson - from 1964 - today

"When Peter first came two St Marys he was playing for the B team but he was so good. He was transferred into the A team and we went on to win the league undefeated Joe Harvey the then manager of Newcastle United beg Peter to sign for them after we trashed his side twice in the two games we played them." Brian Dolan team mate of Peter at St.Marys Boys Club in 1964

"His fantastic goal, headed from some 18 yards in the round robin, was one of the best seen in Sydney for many years."
Soccer World Magazine, 1969, about Wilsons goal against Polonia.

"Peter Wilson of South Coast United has been in top form since months and has been considered by national coach Joe Vlasits. What goes against Wilson is the earlier announcment, that he intends to return to Britain soon." Soccer World, 1969 about Wilson to play for Australia's WC qualification games.

“In the games against Bulgaria, George Harris was one of Australia’s best players, second only to big Peter Wilson.” Lou Gautier for Soccer World about Australia’s three games vs. Bulgaria, 1973.

"Ray Richards, Col Curran and Peter Wilson are in World class"
Kung Sheung Evening News, Asian News paper, 1973 after the final in Hong Kong, 1973

"Utjesenovic, Curran, Mackay, Richards, Baartz and Wilson were the best Australians" Cheng Wu Pao, Asian News after the final in Hong Kong, 1973

"Wilson, Curran, Richards, Mackay and Rooney were the foundation of their success" Wong Wao Pao, Asian News after the final in Hong Kong, 1973

"Peter Wilson, the australian of the match, the Socceroo skipper was an impressive sight. He thoroughly demoralised the Korean strikers against whom he was imperial throughout. Drove his mates on relentlessly and looked a tower of strength for the whole 90 minutes. The local press wrote that his was a world class performance."
Australian Newspaper, 1973 after the Korea game in Hong Kong

"Peter Wilson was the best player for Australia, similar to how he played in Adelaide, for example. He was a player who always played his best for the national team." Lou Gautier for Soccer World about Australia’s two games against Ferencvaros, 1974.

"Wilson's stupendous, almost heroic display against overhelming odds and superior forces, a kind of Sergant York stemming the tide and stopping the enemy hordes." Soccer World Magazine, 1974, about Wilson's performance against East Germany.

"He is the roughest man I’ve played against. He didn’t seem to care whether he kicked the ball, a leg, or a head.”
West German striker Gerd Muller, who scored in 63 Internationals 68 goals, about Wilson after the 1974 World Cup game against Australia.

"Some players had learned their craft in the British bone-mill, non more so than Libero Wilson. He was very strong in his challenges for the ball."
Uli Hoeness West Germany after the World Cup match against Australia.

"Peter Wilson could hold his own in most Polish First Division teams"
Legia Warsaw coach Vejvoda after the games against Australia in 1975.

"A brilliant Peter Wilson, even after a painful back injury, held together ther defence giving his best display since the World Cup match against East Germany." Soccer World after the game against Hakoah in 1976, when Wilson won the Ampol Cup with Wests.

“This was probably Wilson’s finest hour. He led by example and rallied his troops reminiscent of Montgomery at the battle of Alamein.”
Tom Anderson, Soccer writer after he saw Australia’s 1:1 draw versus New Zealand in Auckland 1977, when “Wilson was a giant among giants.”

"Peter Wilson. An excellent captain, he's always there to help and he talks to his players." Col "Bunny" Curran, Newcastle and Socceroo defender, in October 1980. His answer on the question:What player in your career have helped you most?

“I had my reasons for leaving him out at this stage, and discussed the matter with him. He showed his excellent character by telling me he fully understood what I was doing and my reasons. He supported my intention to give the younger players a trial and to try out some older players.”
Socceroo Coach Rudi Gutendorf, who told Wilson he wasen't in the squad, shortly before the World Cup qualification games against New Zealand 1981

“Bring back Peter Wilson as Captain of the team, and than we would have the leadership and direction that was sadly missing in Auckland.”
Tom Anderson, Soccer writer after Australia’s game against New Zealand in 1981 which finished 3:3.

“Wilson should make his return to the Socceroo team later this month against the Kiwis at the SCG. That's our prediction and the hopes of tens of thousands of soccer supporters around Australia.There is no doubt that on present form, Wilson is the most capable defender playing in Australia’s premier competition – the Philips Soccer League. Apart from that, Wilson is the most experienced player going around today. He is also the only man with the ability and vision to captain the Socceroos in their quest to gain a place in the World Cup finals next year in Spain.” Lead article of an Australian Soccer Magazine in 1981 before the return game against New Zealand in Sydney.

"Wilson, obviously a man of taste and style, said he would prefer not to make a comeback - a slap in Rudi's face." Soccer World Magazine, 1981.

"It must be a blend of youth and older players. I couldn't understand why Peter Wilson was not included for the start of the World Cup campaign last year. He may be over 30, but he's still the best centre back in the country and he would have got us to Spain." George Murray Football coach, interview with Laurie Schwab Soccer Action 1982

"It is not the first time a player has been forced into retirement due to inconsiderate demands by clubs.Why can't a club give such an experienced player a free handshake as a token of appreciation for services rendered ?"
Philip Micallef for Soccer Action, 1984, when Wilson finished his career because APIA wanted $AUD 10,000 for Wilson's transfer to Wollongong.

“Peter Wilson was a strong defender, who could read the play very well but above all was a great Captain. As a person he didn’t say much. But deep down he was a funny person.”
Atti Abonyi, one of Australia’s best forwards ever about Wilson.

“I did have the pleasure of not only playing with Peter Wilson, but also the opportunity to be coached by him. He was quite a character. But in saying that, he was very fair to all the players.” Sebastian Giampaolo, who played together with Wilson for APIA Leichhardt

“Peter Wilson was a very skilful player for a big man, very strong in the air, exceptional positional play and very calm under pressure. He possessed excellent distribution. A very good captain, he led by example. As a person he was very quiet, a bit of a loner keeping very much to himself.” Soccer Legend Ray Baartz, vice – captain of Australia.

"I've heard so much about him but have never met him before. I know from what I've been told in the past and this has now been confirmed by many people, that he does not want much to do with soccer these days, which is a bit of a shame because he is such a legend." Francis Awaritefe, former Socceroo.

"Peter Wilson - now there was a footballer who just by his physical presence put the skids under some people I knew. He was a very commanding player, so strong in the air , who also seemed to be the lynchpin of the Australian team, and when he played well then so did Australia."
Brian Turner, New Zealand International from 1967 - 82.

"I had great respect for Peter as a player, he was a great defender - strong in the air and on the ground. Never gave his opponents an inch and was scared of no-one. I always enjoyed playing against him although he often gave me a battering. And scoring against him was an extra
special pleasure because he was so good."
Michael Denton, St.George, NSW and Socceroo goal machine.

"Peter Wilson, John Watkiss and Ray Baartz are Australia's greatest Socceroos ever." Soccer-legend Joe Marston (then 76 years-old) in an interview for SBS, 2002.

As a person he always seemed to me to hold himself aloof. As a player he was strong and fearless, intimidating, strong on the ground and in the air, a very commanding sweeper."
Ron Lord, Australia's legendary goalkeeper of the Olympic games 1956.

"Peter was a great Captain and a good guy, it is his choise to remain a private person and I respect that." Jimmy Tansey, Socceroo

"He was the life and soul - the best captain I ever had. All the mischievousness in the squad stemmed from him. He was a great Billy Connolly fan. He might have been an Englishman from just outside Newcastle, but he loved Billy Connolly. He was full of fun. He fell out with the Soccer Federation in Sydney when he was coaching there, and had finished playing.Without fuss he simply left the game and went to live quietly on his own. But he was quite a character. I remember he used to have to tuck his long, long hair into his collar when we went to Singapore, where it wasn't permitted. We used to have to smuggle him through - all 6ft 2in of him."  Jimmy Rooney, long time Socceroo

"He was a bit of a character on the field. I remember one game when he was playing for Western Suburbs in the old National League. He went up to head the ball and an opponent beat him in the air and won the duel. He immediately called out to me, "Come and wash the fingerprints of my back ref!", indicating that he felt he had been pushed by the opponent. He was always coming up with funny remarks like this, but off the field he appeared to be a very quiet person."
Ray Sandell, Referee, Hall of Fame member

"Peter Wilson was the best man I have ever seen to put on the green and gold jumper. He was the Captain Socceroo, he was the Captain of the 74 team. The guys from 74 owe a lot to him. "
Jack Reilly, goalkeeper World Cup 1974

“Peter was an amazing player, coach and personality who just made the game so simple. He was instrumental in leading the club to victory in the Phillips Cup victory which was my first major honour in senior football."
Paul Carter, veteran of 250 NSL and 75 State League appearances. Carter played for Auburn before moving to APIA in 1981, where he came under the influence of the former Celtic and Scotland Willie Wallace. However the coup de gras for Carter occurred in the following season when he made his first grade debut in the NSL under the watchful eye of the immortal Socceroo, Peter Wilson - 2009

"I am proud to say that I was a team mate of Peter long long ago in UK when we both played for St Mary's Boys Club, Newcastle upon Tyne. I knew that he had played for and captained the Socceroos but didn't realise that he was such a legend. Good on ya Pete" Patrick Docherty (Newcastle - England, November 2008

"There are no news about him. Peter Wilson is strange but he always was strange. That makes him special." Adrian Alston, Socceroo, in an interview 2010

"I played against Peter at the beginning of the old NSL, where i think he played only one maybe two seasons at Apia in Sydney. Peter was a tough, skilful player that was also a great leader. He was always a tough player to play against". 2014 - Gary Cole, Socceroo

"He was a good, big bastard … and that is a compliment"
2014 - Frank Arok, Australian National coach

“I was just 18 years old when I first played against him. He always played with his socks down and was a brick wall in defence. He used to dive in with 2 straight legs and absolutely take out his opponent ball and all. I still have scars from many of his tackles and I was wearing shin guards at the time. Probably the toughest defender I met. We just got back up on our feet, straightened our shin pads and got on with the game.
We could get over 10,000 people at home games and the away team rarely was allowed to park inside our home ground so they had to park outside and walk to ground mixing with supporters. With his large mop of hair and big moustache he was very recognizable to any supporter and the Greeks used to call him "Suzie" as a nickname. They "hated him" as he was always a thorn against us.
However, he is a deadset Aussie legend." -  Mark Koussas, Socceroo, Sydney Olympic F.C. and APIA Leichhardt, in an private talk 2015. Mark was top scorer in the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship.

"I shared a room with Peter on tour. He was a great mate."
Agenor Muniz, Brazilian born Socceroo, in a private talk in 2015

"I loved to play with him. He was a great captain."
Manfred Schaefer, the Iron man, came from Germany and was a St.George legend. 2016

"He was a terrific central defender. Him and Bobby Noble at Wests were very intimidating. To play against in a very good wests team.
That had Col Curran, Peter Stone, Clive Eaton and Alan Ainslie to name a few "
Kenny Wilson, Sydney Olympic, St.George and Parramatta Eagles defender 2016

"If I remember Peter Wilson? Of course, when big Willie hit you, you never forget. Big willie was a terrific defender, the hardest I ever played against …. hard but yery fair. He would walk into any of the current Australian teams in the centre half position - no doubt."
John Stoddart St.George and NSW captain in 2016

“Peter was a fantastic guy and an exceptional defender. He was very, very good in the air and very, very strong on the ground. He was a leader of men but he found it particularly difficult because like many of us he was a naturalised Australian while Johnny Warren was the local hero, the man all Australian fans looked up to. He always felt he never got the publicity and the accolades he deserved. Warren and Wilson were both exceptional players and I reckon Wilson was underrated. I also have a lot of respect and admiration for Ray Baartz.” 
Jack Reilly, 1974 World Cup goalkeeper, Interview 2017

"A great leader of men with a strong presence"
Branko Čulina, A-league football coach. He he played against Wilson with Blacktown - 2017

"He was a great captain on and off the field an outstanding dominate player on the field"
Pat Ainslie, Western Suburbs and Socceroo teammate in 2017

"I played in a trial game against Wilson. He marked me it was intimidating he was a monster.
I squared him up once tried to get around it was like hitting a brick wall. It was an honour.
I never touched the ball a lot. I was only 20, great experiance."
Paul Thomas who played with Toongabbie (Blacktown) against Western Suburbs, 2017

 “Peter was a good bloke, pretty quiet. He was a commanding figure - good in the air and strong at the back - and it was certainly an experience playing next to him. “What I remember mostly about the game in Auckland is that it poured down all match and the field was covered in water. Several times we had chances to get to one on one with the goalkeeper but the ball got stuck in a puddle. We lost 1-0.”
Steve O'Connor, who made his Socceroos debut in New Zealand in 1979 and alongside in the middle of the defence was Peter Wilson. Interview in 2018

"Wilson was the toughest defender I ever played against."
Peter Hensman 2018. His best friend was Clive Eaton, also a good friend of Willie

"I like Peter very much. He is a lovely man. I admired him as a captain and leader. He was a beautiful sportsperson and player." Branko Buljevic in 2018

"I'd have to say Peter Wilson who coached me at Apia-Leichhardt in 1982."
Sebastian Giampaolo. The question was, who was the best coach you had in your career

"The Socceroos' best player was our team spirit, which was due to Rasic's ability to mould a set of players from so many backgrounds into one unit. If somebody had an off-day there was always someone else to compensate. Ours was not a team of individuals but I must say that Peter Wilson was vital to us because of his leadership qualities."
Doug Utjesenovic, St.George and Socceroos defender in 2018

"Peter was something else great leader well respected by all. He instilled pride & passion into all
training sessions & games he was involved in. From the team that winning the cup in 1982, Peter left me out at the 11th hour & played himself. It was the right move , he motivated everyone around him !!
The man is a true Aussie legend !!! It is a pleasure to know him & have played with him !!"
Tom Kilkelly, APIA Leichhardt defender and Cup winner 1982, in 2019

“I joined Apia as a 15 year old in 1981 and was there till 85 in which time I progressed from youth team to first team keeper. The big man was captain and for a brief period coach. As I said he was a legend and everyone at the club was in awe of him.
I remember at one time there was a lot of injuries in the club and the youth team were struggling to field a team at home against the AIS. Willie has been out for some time with an Achilles injury and still wasn’t fit, he walked in the ground with his bag and played for the youth team on one leg.
That’s the type of guy he was
Bob Catlin, goalkeeper, played more than 300 games in the NSL and a record of 105 clean sheets

"I played against Peter mainly pre Phillips National League. He was an imposing figure with an aura that was intimidating. A commanding figure and leader, almost unbeatable in the air. Very competitive, I can remember when he played for western Suburbs v Canberra City in the first year if PSL(1977) I pushed the ball past him when I came out of the body contact had a chunk of my shirt torn out from his subtle grab.”Allan Bourke in 2020, who played many games against Wilson for Sutherland and Canberra








my friend






"Peter was the best sweeper I ever played together."
Greg Woodhouse, APIA and Socceroo goalkeeper in the 80ties


“Peter Wilson was an excellent Captain.” Adrian (Noddy) Alston, member of Australia’s 1974 World Cup team


"Peter Wilson was the best Captain ever, a real leader."
Jimmy Milisavljevic, goalkeeper World Cup 1974

"I loved to play together with him. He was fantastic, brilliant, the best Captain:”
Col Bennett, long time Socceroo and playing partner of Peter Wilson

"He was what soccer people like to call a hard man. Uncompromising, but never dirty. He was a thumping header of the ball and tackled ferociously.""He was what soccer people like to call a hard man. Uncompromising, but never dirty. He was a thumping header of the ball and tackled ferociously." Socceroo John Kosmina, 1996

"Peter Wilson was the best player I have ever played against."
Tony Brennan, top scorer in the Australian National League

“Wilson was a fascinating character with incredible authority and understanding of the tactical aspects of the game. A loyal and extremely shy person. Proud to extremes. In brief, one of the best choices I have made as a coach, and no regrets”. Rale Rasic, Australia’s Soccer Coach, 1970-74, who took the Socceroos to a World Cup Finals for the first - and so far only - time.

"It must be a blend of youth and older players. I couldn't understand why Peter Wilson was not included for the start of the World Cup campaign last year. He may be over 30, but he's still the best centre back in the country and he would have got us to Spain."
George Murray, Football coach, interview with Laurie Schwab Soccer Action 1982

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