Former international football star and charity founder honoured by the University

5 September 2018

Bob Wilson OBE has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of his outstanding contribution to football and significant charitable work.

Dorset resident and former Arsenal goalkeeper, coach, television presenter and author, Bob Wilson OBE was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science at a ceremony on Tuesday 4 September, held at St Albans Abbey. 'I am incredibly humbled by this award made particularly special by the fact that I served for 9 years as a Governor at the University of Hertfordshire and where our daughter Anna completed her qualification as a Community Nurse,' said Bob.

Bob's career

Following more than 300 first-team appearances for Arsenal, Bob worked for the BBC as a television presenter for twenty years and then for ITV for eight, covering eight World Cups. Although retired from playing competitive football, Bob has always been keen to share the benefit of his knowledge and experience through training others and through his books.

The Willow Foundation

In 1999 Bob and his wife Megs established The Willow Foundation, a national charity that works with seriously ill young adults to provide unforgettable ‘special days’. The charity was founded in memory of Bob’s daughter, Anna, who sadly passed away in 1998 after a long battle with cancer. The inspiration for Willow was Anna’s determination to always make sure she had something in her diary to look forward to. So far The Willow Foundation has arranged more than 15,000 ‘special days’ for young people living with life-threatening conditions.

Bob now lives in Dorset but previously lived in Hertfordshire for thirty-four years and has received a number of awards in recognition of his work, including an OBE in 2007.


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