"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
“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,
"Ray Richards, Col Curran and Peter Wilson are in World class"
Kung Sheung Evening News, Asian News paper, 1973 after the final in Hong
"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
He thoroughly demoralised the Korean strikers against whom he was
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
"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
"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
Uli Hoeness West Germany after the World Cup match against
"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
“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
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
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,
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
"Peter Wilson was the best man I have ever seen to put on the green and
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
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
"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
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
"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
"If I remember Peter Wilson? Of course, when big Willie hit you, you
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
© All images and materials are copyright
protected and are the property of The Southern Cross.
Please contact us for permissions
"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
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." 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.