Corinthian Bob completes unbeaten half-century
BOB Wilson epitomises the spirit of the word Corinthian, so it is fitting that he is celebrating his 50th season as a player with Felixstowe Corinthians.
Wilson has appeared in at least one match every season since 1962 and has played more than 750 matches for the club.
He was at what was then Felixstowe Modern, now Orwell High, when he first got involved with the Coronation Park club.
“I was captain of the school team and the vice captain of the school side asked me to go along and have a look,” said Wilson, whose family moved to Trimley from Ilford when he was aged 13.
He has gone on to fulfil almost every role since. Wilson is currently the club’s president and child protection officer but has also served as captain, chairman, secretary and fixture secretary.
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He is also a Level 2 qualified coach and for the past five years has coached the joint Felixstowe CC & Felixstowe Corinthians CC youngsters (FanCY) as well as the Chance to Shine scheme in schools.
“When my children were born I probably only played four or five games a year, but I played regularly for about 35 seasons and have skippered all three of the club’s sides - the 1st XI, the Cavaliers XI and the Reserve XI - at one time or another.”
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Wilson recalls once scoring fifty and taking four catches all at mid on and off the same bowler and has a top score of 62, one of “seven or eight” half centuries to his credit.
“I have never had much patience as a batsman. I show youngsters what to do and then when I go out to bat I ignore it!” he mused.
His leg spin has brought him best bowling figures of four wickets for three runs and three times he has held four catches in an innings.
Wilson, who has played representative cricket for the Medite Over-60s side, said: “I still enjoy it and feel quite fit compared to some of the other players. I can still run and often get put out on the boundary, although I can’t throw very well.”
He said he has no intention of packing up either playing or coaching yet.
“I plan to carry on for as long as my legs and enthusiasm allow me to. Suffolk and Norfolk have formed a combined over-70s side, so hopefully I may get a game with them one day.
“I am hoping to carry on coaching as long as I can,” added Wilson, who has always worked in the building trade and been self employed since 1978.
His one-club loyalty has not just been confined to his cricketing career.
“I also played for just one football team - Cubitt & Gotts - in the old Ipswich & District League, mainly as a left-sided midfield player.
“I guess once I got involved with a club I didn’t want to move on. You have good and bad times,” he reflected.
Wilson steered Felixstowe Corinthians to four league titles in consecutive seasons between 1990-93 in the Medite League, and one cup final appearance when he was captain.
Other highlights of his career include tours to Cornwall and Kent while Frinton’s picturesque Ashlyns Road is his favourite ground.