Blending constructive and combative play in die middle of the park. Ian caught Jock Wallace’s eye in Highland League football, and arrived for a £30,000 fee, which he repaid many times over with his influential prompting and playmaking skills.
A key member of both Wallace’s and Gordon Milne’s promotion sides, Ian impressed most in the latter, adopting and advanced role which saw him coming late behind Lineker and Smith and claiming a fair tally of eight goals, including the crucial winner at Craven Cottage. He fell victim of recent City habit of selecting midfielders at full-back positions during the next two seasons, but re-emerged as a mature motivator and anchor man, long forgiven by even his most grudging critics for his unfortunate own-goal contribution to City’s 1982 Cup semi-final defeat.
Belated but deserved international recognition cam Ian’s way at the age of 29, when he followed his call up at B level in April 1987, with two full Scottish caps a month later, but the combined experience of this personal elevation and City’s relegation unsettled him, and transfer became inevitable.
Nonetheless, Ian saved one of his finest performances for his final Filbert Street game, scoring once and laying on two more goals against Plymouth on the day before his £300,000 move to Goodison.
He picked up an FA Cup runners-up medal as a Wembley substitute for Everton in 1989, then rejoined Gordon Milne in Turkey, where he qualified for both league and cup medals as Besiktas achieved the domestic double for the first time ever in 1990. He then returned to England and played for The Rams (Derby) and The Shakers (Bury). A brief non-contract spell under Bryan Hamilton at Wigan then pointed to a full circle return to the Highland scene, where Ian himself took over management duties at Peterhead before another call from Milne in February 1994, landing Ian the assistant’s job at Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan.
He later returned to Peterhead for a 2nd spell and rejoined Gordon Milne in Turkey, this time as his assistant at Besiktas where the couple had great success also in the past. A new and third spell at Peterhead was next, and by the time of 2003 he had been in charge at this Scottish club in a period of 10 years, a the three period split.
- Full Name: Ian William Wilson
- Position: Winger / Midfield
- Date of Birth: 27.03.1958
- Birthplace: Aberdeen
- Nation: Scotland
- Caps / Goals: 5/0
- Major League Career:
- 1979-87, Leicester City (309/19)
- 1987-89, Everton (34/1)
- 1989-90, Besiktas (20/1)
- 1990-91, Derby County (11/15)
- 1991-92, Bury (24/1)