Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Pa Wilson Memorial

On Remembrance Day 2006, we had the great pleasure of unveiling the Pa Wilson Memorial outside the Champion Hill Stadium. This large handsome plaque depicts the founder of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, and is a constant token of one who gave so much of his life and health to Dulwich Hamlet. The relief portrait is by sculptor Charles Westgarth and is cast in bronze by James Virgo, a lifelong Hamlet supporter.

Clay relief by Charles Westgarth

This was not the first time Pa Wilson had been honoured with a memorial to his name. Following his death in 1924, devotees at Dulwich Hamlet decided to perpetuate his memory by setting up the Lorraine Wilson Memorial Scholarship at Dulwich College. This is still available to young students today.

However, the truth is that Lorraine ‘Pa’ Wilson has a far greater memorial. It is this very Club. The whole edifice that is the Dulwich Hamlet Football Club is a monument to him. It was his creation over a century ago. He laid the foundations. Indeed, he is the very keystone. He found the money – often his own benevolence. He had the credence. His was the pulling power. He sought the bigger grounds, and the comfort of the supporters. It was his ideals that were ingrained into the staff. His influence was immense and incalculable. His name is deep-rooted in the history of the club and local football.

Pa Wilson was the Club Treasurer for thirty years, and eventually (albeit for one short year) was honoured as the President of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

In 1924, Pa Wilson died following a prolonged severe illness. He was buried just a few hours before the final match of the season.

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