Joe Wilson 1920-2011

I regret to inform you of the death of Joe Wilson. Ray Nash who he taught to play our game writes:

Joe became head of P.E. at Hillcroft School when it opened in 1960. Unusually for the time, Joe wanted to have as many competitive sports as possible. In 1964 he accidentally discovered lacrosse whilst umpiring a school hockey match at Henry Thornton. He asked what sport it was, and Graham Allot put him in touch with Peter Mundy. A visit from Peter, a set of loan sticks and a few balls, plus a few pages on how to play lacrosse, and Joe started the game at Hillcroft. Joe recruited some "volunteers", and soon the game caught on. Hillcroft became a force in the junior programme.

In 1970 some former pupils formed Old Hillcrovians, which two years later changed its name to Hillcroft, when the school underwent an amalgamation and became Ernest Bevin. Joe continued to support the game at Ernest Bevin and became president of Hillcroft club.

The game was played at the school for some 40 years, and the club that bears the school's name continues to flourish. Joe was always one to encourage enthusiasm and worry about performance later. He had very clear ideas about what was right and wrong, and the right attitude was instilled into every boy who played any sport for the school.

His open minded attitude and willingness to try something new opened up a whole new aspect of sport for his boys. This led to some playing lacrosse for the whole of their sporting life. Some playing for the South at all levels. Some went on to play and coach at international level for England, Wales, Ireland and Italy.

Definitely a case of the right man in the right place at the right time. His legacy lives on in all of the boys he taught.