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Robert "Bob" Primrose Wilson (born October 30, 1941 in Chesterfield, England) was a goalkeeper for Arsenal F.C. of the Football League from 1963 to 1974. He made over 300 appearances for Arsenal and two appearances for Scotland, the first Englishman since 1873 to do so. He also played for the England youth team. He is married and has three children.

His unusual middle name has often been a source of amusement; it stems from a Scottish tradition of giving children their mother's maiden name as a middle name.

Playing Career

Wilson started late as a professional player as his father would not let him sign papers with Manchester United F.C. while he was a youth and he then went on to Loughborough College for training as a teacher before signing for Arsenal in 1963. He had been playing non-league games for Wolves as an amateur and made his debut for Arsenal as an amateur, the last non professional to play in the top division, and the first amateur to have a transfer fee paid (around £6,500). Even then it was five years before he became the first choice keeper in 1968. In 1971 he was Arsenal's player of the year in their famous double winning season.

He became eligible to play for Scotland when the rules were changed in the 1970s to allow players to play for their parent's country of origin if they had not already played for their own country. Wilson was selected by Tommy Docherty for his two games but Docherty then left the position and the next manager preferred another English-born keeper: David Harvey of Leeds United.

As a student and teacher of goalkeeping, Wilson has identified his own signature technique as diving at his opponents' feet to save goals. This has caused him a number of injuries throughout his career.

 

Coaching Career

Wilson was goalkeeping coach for Arsenal during the period Pat Jennings, John Lukic, and David Seaman were goalkeepers.

 

Broadcasting Career

After his football career he immediately became a football TV presenter working firstly for the BBC then for ITV until his retirement in 2002.

 

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