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 1970-1979, 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." His last match for Australia was a home friendly against Partizan Belgrade on 29 June 1979. The match ended a 1–1 draw.