New Award For An Utterly Deserving Case
Another accolade has landed in recognition of Les Wilson’s phenomenal football achievements – this time by personal delivery.
The former Wolves utility man has already been decorated with a host of awards during his long career as a player, coach and administrator but admitted to being shocked – in the nicest possible way – by this one.
The 74-year-old, who remains one of the biggest supporters of this website, received the honour from two surprise visitors to his door in sweltering Vancouver.
Having already been made an inaugural member of the British Columbia Soccer Hall of Fame in November, 2019, he has now been presented with the organisation’s award of excellence.
“Like everyone else, we have been spending a lot of time at home during lockdown and couldn’t believe it when these two gentlemen on the doorstep were saying they had something for me,” Wilson said.
“It was a lovely surprise to be handed the award and to feel recognised again by this huge state. I can promise it will be cherished a great deal.”
Wilson automatically became one of the hall of fame’s inaugural inductees as he was one of the 96 individuals, teams and organisations from British Columbia who were already members of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.
Doing the honours with this new tribute were former BC Soccer Association president Roger Barnes and ex-FIFA referee Rob Brown, who are also pictured above.
Regular readers of this site will be familiar with Les’s unusual background – born in Manchester but raised, from the age of seven, in Vancouver and talented enough in his middle teens to have impressed Stan Cullis and his fellow coaches when they saw him play during Wolves’ long tour of Canada and the United States in 1963.
He signed at Molineux the following year and became the first man from across the Atlantic to play 100 senior games in the English First Division.
It is for his massive accomplishments in Canada that he is best known and recognised, though, initially as a player and then a coaching driving force with the highly successful Vancouver Whitecaps of the late 1970s.
Amid a host of other off-field roles, he was the manager of Canada in 1986 when they went to the World Cup finals for what remains the only time.
He has been inducted into halls of fame over and over again for his work with different national teams under the Canadian FA banner.
The phone chat we had with him last week confirmed that Vancouver remains in a freak heatwave, with forest fires a threat in some of the surrounding areas.