On this day in 1941, Arsenal goalkeeper, Alex Wilson, was transferred to St Mirren.
Born 29 October, 1908, Wilson signed for Arsenal in 1933 but played his first game for the Gunners on 27 January 1934, just after Joe Shaw had been appointed as caretaker manager following Herbert Chapman’s death.
Wilson stood in for the injured Frank Moss and Arsenal won the game against Crystal Palace by a whopping 7-0. Although seven goals is fantastic, Wilson will probably have been more pleased with his clean sheet since all eyes would have been on him filling in for Moss.
The Scottish goalkeeper took part in six matches that season, which wasn’t quite enough to get a winners medal when Shaw managed to lead Arsenal to the title, despite a bit of dodgy form in the league when he was first appointed.
Wilson continued to feature now and then when Frank Moss was injured, which was quite frequently and when new manager, George Allison, took over in May 1934, he stood by him. Wilson therefore only managed to get a good run of games together during the 1934/35 season. In fact, ‘good run’ is an understatement. He played 43 games during that campaign. He even played in the FA Cup final, which we won against Sheffield United 1-0.
Despite this rather impressive run, Allison signed two new goalkeepers, George Swindin and Frank Boulton. Swindon took Wilson’s place before Allison settled on Boulton, meaning Wilson only played one more game after the first of the season.
Although he wasn’t always first choice, Wilson still won the London Combinations championship five years running between 1933 and 1938.
Wilson played 90 games for Arsenal in total before joining St Mirren during the war in 1941.
In 1947/48, Wilson had a brief stint as an emergency goalkeeper for Brighton and Hove Albion, who were then in the Third Division South. He later moved to Birmingham City and became a physiotherapist, as well as a trainer. He also moved around to Sunderland, Blackpool and Kent County Cricket Club before moving to the USA in 1967, where he was the physio for the Boston Beacons of the NASL.
Alex Wilson, former Arsenal goalkeeper, then passed away, aged 62, in Boston in 1971.