Obituary - Bevan Wilson, former Workington Town player
Last updated at 20:37, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Australian Bevan Wilson, who won rugby league’s Challenge Cup with Workington Town, has died at the age of 85.
Workington Town club chairman Dave Bowden paid tribute to the second row forward, who enjoyed a successful four years in West Cumbria.
He said: “It is sad that 60 years after winning the Challenge Cup, we have to say goodbye to one of them men who helped win it for us.
“Bevan and all of the men who pulled on a Workington Town shirt that day are legends of the sport.
“Bevan’s death is sad news to everyone at Derwent Park, and our thoughts are with his wife Jean and the rest of his family.”
In 1946, at 19 years old, Mr Wilson enlisted in the Australian army and was posted to Japan with the occupational forces.
Quitting the army for teaching two years later, he was part of the Australian rugby union team that went to New Zealand and won the Bledisloe Cup for the first time.
An English scout offered Mr Wilson £2,000 to move to Workington Town, who were just beginning to get established in the rugby league.
The round-the-world move prompted Mr Wilson to propose to and marry his girlfriend Jean Conley in two weeks before moving to the Workington.
He played rugby league for Town while teaching at Crosscanonby St John’s School through the week.
Mr Wilson was an established Australian rugby union international when he signed for Town in 1950.
He shared in the club’s two greatest triumphs – winning the Championship play-off in 1951 and the Challenge Cup the following year.
An astute second row forward, he was a top playmaker and demon tackler.
The second row forward spent four years at Derwent Park, before moving back to his native Sydney.
Poetry was his passion. He even wrote a book – A Simple Song for Thinking Hearts – but was forced to give up his hobby after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1995.
Mr Wilson’s youngest son Michael, a helicopter paramedic, died last December while trying to save an injured outdoor adventurer south of Sydney.
Mr Wilson is survived by wife of 62 years Jean, daughters Christine and Margot, son Hadyn and five grandchildren.
First published at 19:22, Thursday, 16 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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