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 75)
Place of birth Felling, England
Position(s) Sweeper
Youth career
St. Mary's Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966–1968 Middlesbrough FC 1 (0)
1968–1969 Gateshead 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)
Total 299 (6)
International career
1970–1979 Australia 65 (3)
Managerial career
1973–1974 Safeway United
1982 APIA Leichhardt
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, 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 FIFA 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


  1. ^ Match report, including date of birth
  2. ^ "ABC Sport Online - World Cup 2006 - Socceroos' brotherly misfits made 1974 finals". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  3. ^ Oz Football. "Socceroo 1979 B Matches". Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  4. ^ "The Australian National Men's Football Team: Caps and Captains" (PDF). 12 October 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2017.