Wilson was as tough as steel’ and forever loyal’
The local football community is mourning the death of David “Shaggy Dog” Wilson, the former Warwick United and Devonshire Cougars defender.
Wilson has died after a bout of illness. During his heyday he earned a reputation as a tough-tackling defender who was also loyal to his team and easy to coach.
He had a successful playing stint with the now-defunct Second Division team Warwick that also boasted top players such as goalkeeper Sheldon Bradshaw, striker El James and midfielder Eugene “Hammer” Simmons.
“We had a formidable team and Shaggy was around that group as one of the defenders,” said Rick Richardson, the former Warwick coach.
“Shaggy was as strong as an ox and for ever loyal. He was steadfast in whatever task you gave and so it was pretty simple coaching him. Although he was a strong right-footed player a lot of times we would play him at either side for a winger who wanted to cut in a lot.
“Shaggy would take man, ball, everything and right up until recently would say, ‘Coach, remember when you told me I have to stop this winger and don’t let him pass?’ He always would say nobody came down my side and that was Shaggy.
“He was a loyal guy with a huge heart and strong as you can imagine and always stuck to the task and was always up to the task.”
Former Warwick striker James described his late team-mate as a passionate lover of the game who always left everything on the pitch.
“Shaggy was a good man to have around and a good man to play with and always gave you 110 per cent,” James recalled.
“He was a player who played very hard. He was like steel and I always told him that I was glad I was playing with him and not against him. Even in training I avoided him.
“He was just a hard player and I remember one game we were playing and Rick told Shaggy to mark the main striker on the other side out of the game.
“Shaggy had no ill intent on anybody but in the first three minutes he went up for a header and butted the striker out of the game.
“That’s the type of player he was but a gentlemen off the field.”
During the 1979-80 season Warwick won the Second Division Shield and were FA Cup runner’s up after losing to First Division PHC Zebras, who were relegated that same season.
“Shaggy was so proud of his Warwick days and anytime I approached him the first thing I heard was, ‘Walk Tall’.
“Those were his first words and up until the last time I saw him he was still proud of his ‘Walk Tall’ days and that was his motto.
“After football Shaggy and I were still very good friends and I’m going to miss him.”
Wilson also had a playing stint with Cougars after joining from Warwick.
“I coached him at Cougars for about two or three years,” Winston “Coe” Trott, the former Cougars coach, said. “He was one of those guys who gave you everything he had.
“He was basically a defender playing on the right side. He always liked to set up goals for other people and was just as happy with whoever scored even if he didn’t score himself.”
Incidentally, Trott played under Wilson’s father Sammy Wilson during his playing days in the Sixties at Young Men’s Social Club.
In his autobiography Feed the Goat, former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater described Wilson as “Bermuda’s best long-range passer”.
“He would give a pass and shout ‘sorry’ for giving you such a great ball,” Goater wrote.
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