In Andre Andreev’s Op-Doc “The Lonely Goalkeeper,” the legendary goalkeeper Bob Wilson reflects on the “desperate courage” required to serve as the last resort against an onslaught of unpredictable shots from his opponents. Originally a teacher who played as an amateur, Wilson moved up to professional soccer later than his peers — but spent 1963 to 1974 playing for Arsenal, a storied club in the English Premier League. In 1971, Arsenal honored him with player of the year following the historic season when it won both the league title and the FA Cup. He ranks among their 50 greatest players.
As Premier League clubs compete in empty stadiums this summer after a 100-day pause, Wilson’s memories take on new resonance. They remind us that even though their work is often undersung, those on the last line of defense can be the greatest heroes of all.
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