Thursday, 2 June 2011

Dyson Wilson

Dyson Wilson
Dyson Wilson played eight games for England as a wing forward before turning to sustainable farming in the West Country
My friend Dyson Wilson, who has died aged 84, was a man of parts: a rugby international, fisher, farmer, writer and raconteur. Known as "Tug" Wilson, he played eight games for England at wing forward and was a member of the 1955 British Lions squad on its tour of South Africa. He was admired for his highly tactical approach to the game.
Dyson was born in South Africa and moved to Britain with his family when he was a child. He relocated to Salisbury (now Harare), then in Rhodesia, in the late 1950s. Among many adventures there, he ran two popular restaurants. In 1969, he and his second wife, Diana, and their two young sons, Mark and Hugh, moved to west Cornwall, where Dyson had family connections and where their daughter, Senara, was born.
For several years, Dyson part-owned and worked as a deckhand aboard the vessel Heather Armorel. During that time I had the good fortune of working with him. Dyson later sailed small yachts across the Atlantic and into the Pacific.
One Atlantic voyage with Diana and a friend, when Dyson was 73, nearly ended in disaster. Two weeks out of Brazil, on course for South Africa, they were dismasted and spent 38 days edging slowly south on a tiny jury-rigged sail, aiming with great precision for the island of Tristan da Cunha. They made it and, on the point of being driven ashore, were rescued by the islanders.
For many years, the Wilsons owned a small farm on the Lizard peninsula, where they lived by their beliefs in sustainability and humanist values. Dyson was buried in idyllic woodland on the farm. On his gravestone is inscribed the phrase that summed up his belief in what life could be like, if only humankind could get it right: "Heaven on Earth".
He is survived by Diana and their children; by two daughters, Aine and Christina, from his first marriage, to Ann; and by 10 grandchildren.

No comments:

Post a Comment