Wilson knows that the No.9 shirt – worn by Messrs Milburn, Shearer and er, Obafemi Martins before him – holds mythical status on Tyneside, but the striker continues to wear the No.13 he donned at Bournemouth. He’s not exactly counting down the days to if or when current occupier Joelinton hands him the famous digit, either.
“Of course I know what it means at this club,” he says. “But it’s a tricky one because the shirt is taken. If it ever became vacant and was up for grabs, I’d happily wear it. But I’m not particularly superstitious, underlined by the fact I wear 13 which hasn’t served me too badly!
“The bottom line is that I play football for the badge on the front of the shirt, not the number on the back – but that doesn’t mean I’m not familiar or in awe of the history of the No.9 shirt and those who have worn it.
“It’s very humbling and a huge honour to be mentioned in the same breath as those greats, and if I can achieve just a quarter of what they did at Newcastle, I’ll be delighted."
Wilson joined Newcastle United at the beginning of the 2020-21 Premier League season from relegated side Bournemouth for a reported £20 million. The north-east giants were crying out for a centre forward, with Andy Carroll, Joelinton, and Dwight Gayle all struggling in front of goal - which continued into the 2020-21 season.
Wilson scored 12 goals in 26 appearances, with each goal contributing to Newcastle gaining either a point or a victory, highlighting his importance to the team. The 29-year-old missed a crucial seven game period from February to April in which Newcastle didn't manage a single win, where they managed to score just five goals.
It seems that without Wilson, Newcastle would've been relegated for a third period in the Premier League period. Ultimately, this led to Geordie legend Alan Shearer praising the striker for his importance in the team.
“Funnily enough, I’m yet to actually meet Alan Shearer face to face, although we have spoken on the phone. With all the COVID restrictions in place, it’s been difficult to do so many of the things we took for granted a couple of years ago. When everything gets back to normal, I’d love the chance to shake him by the hand, chat football and thank him for all the kind things he’s said about me on TV or in the media. It’s very flattering.”
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get a FREE England Euro 96 shirt!
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.