In a tragic development for the Italian outfit, Lazio, their skipper from the infamous 1974 team that won the Scudetto, Pino Wilson passed away at the ripe age of 76. Defender Wilson’s team had countless animated names that had a trail of controversy following them.
Lazio penned a short statement honouring the captain who led them to their opening glory in Serie A, citing, “Together we became champions, goodbye Pino, our captain, the history which binds us is forever.”
The rise and fall of Pino Wilson
He was born as Giuseppe Wilson in the unheralded English town of Darlington. However, he shortly moved to his mother’s home city Napoli where he started playing football alongside Giorgio Chinaglia who also shared a deep connection with the football emperor, Pele.
The duo played together at a lower-tier side called Internapoli in the ‘60s before shifting his allegiance to Napoli in 1969. The infamous synergy played an elemental role to propel the I Biancocelesti to the premier division in 1972. That, however, was just the beginning of the shockers that would leave the world in a state of awe.
A string of impressive performances hit the crescendo when two years later Le Aquile surged past the Old Lady in a sternum-churning league race which saw them grabbing the coveted title for the first time.
It wasn’t Chinaglia who starred in Wilson’s colourful band of boys. There were other significant two names too. One of them was Luciano Re Cecconi who was also known as the Blond Angel. He was shot dead in Rome jewellers which were later claimed as an upshot of a prank gone wrong.
Wilson flirted dangerously with controversies too as in 1980, he was caught being involved in a match-fixing scandal known as the Totonero which culminated in the relegation of Lazio and AC Milan.
Pino received the ban for three years while his teammates in the form of Massimo Cacciatori, Bruno Giordano and Lionello Manfredonia were slapped with significant bans too, reducing them to mere peripheral figures.
In 1978, Wilson went on to play at Cosmos alongside Chinaglia before calling it a day in 1983 where he appeared for a Canadian outfit, Inter Montreal. He appeared thrice for Italy out of which two were in the 1974 World Cup.