A pleasure listening to Arsenal legend, Bob Wilson, on BBC Radio 5 Live
Bob Wilson was Arsenal's goalkeeper during their 1970-1971 'double season' and later on was Arsenal's goalkeeping coach during the first two generations of Arsene Wenger's time at Arsenal. In 1999, he and his wife set-up the Willow Foundation in loving memory of his daughter, Anna, who had passed away from cancer. This charity has since supported thousands of individuals with a life-threatening condition to have wonderful and memorable days.
Always when I hear him talk I am impressed by the reason and manner that he puts across his opinions. He has respect for his listener and facts and looks to be constructive and supportive in his comments. His words and his manner reflects an individual who is extemely decent and for me its a bonus that a football man of his quality of character is also an 'Arsenal' man.
Yesterday, for the first time that I can recall, he was in the role of co-commentator/expert summariser for a live football match. He was commentating alongside Alan Green and Mike Ingham on BBC radio five live for the Arsenal v Dynamo Kiev match.
In tricky times its good to hear reassuring voices that you have respect for so I was glad to hear Bob Wilson on the radio give his insight and reflection on the current Arsenal situation.
He placed the current situation and events leading to it in their context with a reason that was refreshing to hear. He spoke with reasonableness and insight on the character and qualities of Arsene Wenger, William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy etc.
He expressed an informed view that Arsene Wenger is definitely not averse to buying but that he will only do so if the potential recruit was of sufficient quality. He also strongly intimated that Xavi Alonso was very close to coming to Arsenal in the summer but that move did not go through because Liverpool were unable to get Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.
Overall, it was simply a pleasure to hear Bob Wilson on the radio. He speaks with kind heart and reason on Arsenal and football and has a personable manner that seems to attract the full respect of his colleagues as well as the full respect of this this listener. This is in marked contrast to what we usually get as watchers/listeners of football broadcasts.
So, thanks to the BBC for having Bob Wilson on yesterday's commentary. And, much more than that, here's to Bob Wilson for his achievements, his character and for being a great Arsenal man.