Pete Sixsmith pays a moving tribute to a pal and fellow Sunderland fan who has met a cruel end. There is an update on the police investigation in the footnote …
Stephen Wilson was a very good friend of mine. He was a Sunderland supporter par excellence, a well known and highly thought of Sunday footballer, a proud member of the Wilson/Barker clan – and now he is lying in a hospital morgue after a senseless death outside a pub in Bishop Auckland.
Stephen was known to many as Squinny, due to his chronically poor eyesight. This did not prevent him from being a stalwart full back and midfield dynamo for Shildon Sunderland Supporters for the best part of 20 years.
His barnstorming runs and fierce tackles earned him the respected nickname of Squindini in honour of his admiration for Brazilian football. His heading ability (or lack of it) were equally legendary, and when a Sunderland defender misplaced a defensive header, there were those in the crowd who likened it to a Squinny effort – eyes closed, head in general direction of the ball which would then fly off at all angles.
He followed The Lads with devotion from his early teens, under the watchful eye of Dougie Bones and Ian Douglass who introduced him to such delights as camping at Wem, never, ever ordering Double Diamond in a real ale pub and how to cook a fish finger, bacon, egg and baked bean sandwich. He was 16 at the time.
Over the years, he kept us entertained with his antics. He was once nearly arrested by the then Home Secretary David Waddington’s armed guard as we flew back to Guernsey after a the defeat to Swindon at Wembley.
He infiltrated the bar area at The Caernarfon Castle in Liverpool, rolled out of the back of a mini bus while camping in the Lakes and was responsible for throwing the flashing lights that guarded a huge hole in the road at Wem, down the aforementioned chasm.
He was a man who never settled into a particular job, but could turn his hand to most things. On his first passport, he described himself as an archaeologist because he was on a Job Scheme at Binchester Fort at the time. Over the years, he worked on the railways with his brother Nigel ( of whom he was immensely proud), had a factory job at Flymo (where he rushed out with a pocketful of Stanley Knives used for cutting the cardboard and forgot all about them until he was frisked by the steward at Mansfield later that night. He got in!) and covered Ian Douglass’s back more times than The Sundance Kid covered Butch Cassidy’s when they worked together at Darlington Heat Treatment.
And now he is gone, victim of what appears to be a senseless act of violence outside the Beehive pub in Bishop Auckland. The last time I saw him was in a bar in Amsterdam where he gave me a hug and said: “See you around.” Sadly he won’t. He will be greatly missed.
* One man – the son of the licensee of the pub has appeared in court accused of murder, The Northern Echo reports
22 thoughts on “Stephen Wilson RIP”
Just been looking on the internet, when I found this articul, its always sad to read. Played along side him for the best part of 6 years, always entertaining, but someone who gave 110%, always.
Not seen him for 8 years but he has never changed in anyway, will always be missed and very liked from all in the game
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Farewell to a true maccum that loved to enjoy life and make my life hell when every time he saw my face he would shout “red and white army” and after playing football with squinny at sunderand supporters and drinking with the lads “Timothy haworth” their will never be another Squinny .Thanks for the memeories Squinny from Derek the maggie b……d.
Derek,Vikki and Kate XXX.
Stephen’s funeral is on Friday 4th September at St 12.00 in St Mary’s Church, Vart Road, Bishop Auckland. Meet at The Cumberland afterwards. Formal dress is optional, so wear something red and white for a guy who was a true, dedicated Sunderland fan.
Still struggling to make sence of such a shocking loss.To me Squinny is one of those people you think you are gonna see and speak to again tomorra,and the day after.But when you dont,it makes you angry,cos when he was here a nod or a wave was enough.God bless you Squinny.nod nod,wave wave.
And when you smiled the world was brighter.
Goodnight and God bless Stevie. x
I really can’t believe its 2 weeks since the pointless death of my good friend Squinny.
I too played for sss fc 4 seasons in the back four with steve mopping up after Baz Bloomers mistakes (squinny’s words not mine) and these were my most enjoyable years in football.
This guy was a true gentleman and would do anything for anyone even if he did not know you.
My fondest memories were the end of season tours where i quickly learned that rooming with squin meant you spent the week-end in the dark as you could Not get him out of his pit zzzzzz.
Bish wont be the same without you mate
On reading of Squinny’s death, I was overwhelmed with shock and find it hard to grasp that he is no longer with us.
He was a good friend and always took time to share his thoughts on SAFC with you.
In the summer of 91 I went to Malia in Crete with Sqinny,Trevor Bowden,Hughie Watson, Big Don and Gary Turner.What a holiday -Squinny made us all laugh- he was such a nice lad and will be sadly missed.
died to young will miss u never to beforgotten rest in peace mate big h and kie
Bumped into Steve most weekends around the town, but mainly the Cumbo. Lived life to the full, was always good crack, thought the world of his family, always gave me the impression he was immensely proud of his sister and three nephews, Sue, Paul, Michael and Daniel. A proper Mackem who will be sorely missed.
God Bless Stephen
These are great tributes to Squinny. I will seek an address for next of kin and pass it on to the club, in the hope that a message is sent.
Gaz: if you re-read Pete Sixsmith’s piece, you’ll see that Amsterdam was the last place he saw Squinny alive (Sobs, too, in his ALS report), but the attack happened in Bishop Auckland.
Do we still contest the Friendship Cup when we play Norwich? Perhaps it could be renamed the Stephen Wilson/(and a deceased supporter of Norwich’s choice) Memorial Trophy.
This is awful news, I was in Amsterdam and heard there was some trouble but never knew it resulted in losing a very loyal Sunderland fans. May he now rest in peace.
Squinny.. I didn’t know you, but from what I’ve read you must have been a REAL character. But ..Hey..you were one of US……a true Red & White. You’re going to a good place… even God’s a Sunderland fan !!!! You’ll be sadly missed. R.I.P.
Absolutely shocked by the news of this untimely death. I have many happy memories of Squinny, particularly his attitude towards referees! Probably the outstanding memory of this extremely likeable guy involves the Waverley Stadium and a goat. Although it is many years since I saw Stephen, the memories do linger on.
The phrase “daft as a brush” could have been invented to describe Sqinny. The most loyal friend and SAFC fan you could ever wish to meet. I too played in the same Shildon Sunderland Supporters FC team and have too many happy memories of Squin to mention here. He would put himself out to help others and will be greatly missed.
God bless you Zico.
I agree with all the above comments on Squinny. I played football in the same team for several years and you couldn’t meet a less offensive young lad.
One moment of madness, a lifetime of regret!
I only ever knew him as Squinny, but was aware that his name was Stephen beause that’s what Sixer called him when he had a seriuos point to make. That’s why Squinny’s face staring at me from the front page of Wednesday’s Echo was such a shock. Stephen would have an opinion on anything football-related, from the Cumberland Arms to Capello, and would share it every time we met. I last saw him wandering off into the Amsterdam night with Trevor and co, and I’ll miss Squinny’s opinions. What a waste of a good bloke
Stephen was a thoroughly nice lad. A caring and considerate person with not a bad bone in his body.The last time I saw him was in Amsterdam, two weeks ago; we (Stephen, Trevor Bowden, Sixer and myself) discussed a reunion of Shildon Sunderland Supporters. It will take place now for all wrong reasons; the tragic death of Stephen. God bless him.
Words can not express how sad this has made me feel.
He will indeed be greatly missed.
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