Well-travelled Danny Wilson’s highs and lows

Danny Wilson,  was a tenacious midfield player with an eye for goal.

He scored 39 times in 155 games for the Albion and Sheffield Wednesday were the penultimate and eighth club of his playing career.

In more recent times he has been a manager with varying degrees of success.

His first post in the hotseat was as a player-manager at Barnsley, who he steered into the Premiership and earned the Managers’ Manager of the Year award. Unfortunately he could not deliver the same degree of success when he returned to Oakwell between 2013 and 2015, although that spell did mark his 1,000th game as a manager.

His second managerial job also involved a return to scenes of past glory when he returned to Hillsborough in the top tier between 1998 and 2000. The spell ended ignominiously in the sack, though, after pressure was applied by local MPs for his removal, shortly before Wednesday’s relegation from the Premier League.

Wigan-born Wilson started his career with his hometown club, who were then non-league, before joining Bury and then moving on to Chesterfield.

His performances for the Spireites earned him a step up to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest but he struggled to make it as a regular and after a brief spell on loan to Scunthorpe he joined Chris Cattlin’s Albion, initially on loan, and then permanently as part of the post-Cup Final rebuilding in late 1983.

In an interview with the Daily Mail in December 2014 he recalled Chris Cattlin’s “fantastic enthusiasm” and his pride at being signed by Clough, even though he didn’t play many games under him.

In four years with the Albion he became captain and a key player but on relegation from the second tier under Barry Lloyd, and as money issues beset the club, he was sold to Luton Town where he famously teamed up with former Seagulls stalwart Steve Foster, and scored a late equaliser as the Hatters went on to beat Arsenal in the 1988 League Cup Final at Wembley.

It was from Luton that he moved on to Premier League Wednesday and continued to contribute his fair share of goals, netting 11 in 98 appearances for the Owls, as well as being a League Cup winner again in 1991.

Towards the end of his spell with Brighton he had earned his first cap for Northern Ireland and over the next five years he collected 24 caps having qualified to play for them courtesy of his mother having been born in Londonderry.

During his three-year spell as manager of Swindon Town (between 2008 and 2011), amongst his many signings were Albion’s current captain Gordon Greer and prolific striker Charlie Austin, now at Southampton.

 

 

  • Picture shows Wilson in action on an Albion matchday programme front cover from 2 November 1985.

Wilson cover

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