When Shorts Were Short S2 E04 - Bob Wilson (Part 1 of 2)

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By 16-07 West Egg Media and Daniel Ruiz Tizon. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week’s episode is our first two-parter, a comprehensive interview with Arsenal’s ’71 double-winning ‘keeper Bob Wilson, also, of course, for an entire generation, the presenter of what was during his time with the show, the formidable Football Focus, the Saturday lunchtime preview show that existed within the BBC’s Grandstand.


Bob had three hugely successful careers. As the Arsenal number one of the late sixties and early seventies, and as we’ll hear, securing the number one shirt of his beloved north London club was far from easy. Then there was the football broadcasting career, first with the BBC and then later at the end, with ITV, but he was also the man who, after seeing the Brazilian ‘keepers training with a goalkeeping coach during the ’66 World Cup who brought that into the British game. Goalkeeping coaches, and goalkeepers, in this country owe a huge debt to the man whose signature save, diving head first at the feet of an opponent, arguably shortened his career.


This week we concentrate on Bob’s early life, studying at Loughborough University, almost becoming a Busby Babe, playing as an amateur for Wolves’s reserves

during the back end of the Stan Cullis era, before he finally ends up at Arsenal where it’s five years before he finally nails down the number one spot

with a fine performance in a FA Cup fifth round replay defeat at Birmingham.

When Shorts Were Short only concerns itself with what was actually a very narrow window in football history when teams wore, well, short shorts. The podcast will only cover football from 1954, when Umbro made their first England kit with shorter shorts, a design that was widespread within English football by the mid-fifties, to 1992 when short shorts were all but finished as Umbro's baggy shorts for Tottenham's new kit, ahead of the '91 FA Cup Final, quickly caught on.

If the shorts weren’t short, we don’t talk about it.

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SHOW NOTES

Twitter Bob Wilson

Willow Foundation

Twitter @Willow_Fdn

Quizball Appearance 1971

WBA v Arsenal 1969 FA Cup 5th Round

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26 episodes