Mr Brian Wilson RIP

It is with much regret that following a long illness, we announce the death on Saturday 15th May of Brian Wilson. He was 86 and was the first Honorary Legal Advisor to the British Biathlon Union.

Brian served as a subaltern in 40 Field Regiment alongside the late Spud Leaning in the early 1960’s, and to many Army colleagues was known as “Be Me” (after his initials). But, in the British biathlon family this generous, courteous, and kind gentleman was affectionately known as “Mr Wilson”.

Ironically, he died on what would have been Spud’s 84th birthday. Both were Nordic skiers and, in the Regiment’s, winning Princess Marina Cup team. But following the early death of his father, Brian left the Army to join the family firm of solicitors in Lincoln’s Inn. In 1995 Spud asked him to help draw up all the legal documentation appertaining to the formation of the BBU on 23rd October 1996. Having been a member of the Army & Navy Club (The Rag) since 1965, Brian kindly sponsored the initial Board Meetings of the BBU that were held there. He performed his legal duties, also at no charge to the BBU, with gusto and preciseness before handing over in 2001 as Hon Legal Advisor to Charles Brooks, who filled the post until 2017. In recognition of his work, The Board was delighted that Brian accepted the appointment as the first Honorary Member of the BBU.

“Mr Wilson” enjoyed visiting the British Championships in Ruhpolding for many years. Never without a twinkle in his eye, he was always immaculately turned out, although his highly polished black leather shoes were not the most appropriate footwear for the snow and ice of Bavaria! Long after he had officially retired, he helped organise the BBU AGM; still donned his Nordic skis and really enjoyed meeting the young athletes – on and off the snow. However, he was equally at home enjoying a convivial après-ski evening with the “oldies” and his new German acquaintances. He kept up his contacts with his old friends and team-mates from 40 Regt and frequently attended their reunions, until just a couple of years ago.

Brian and Isabel were married for just short of 60 years and much enjoyed travelling overseas. They had settled in Hartley Wintney where he took great pleasure from the comfort of his own front garden watching the village cricket team, whilst sipping his favourite Fuller’s London Pride. The BBU sends our deepest condolences to Isabel, their three sons James, Mark and Paul and daughter Fiona and his seven grandchildren. “Mr Wilson” was indeed a special “true gentleman” and will be much missed. Due to Covid restrictions his Funeral on 28th May will be for family only.

May he Rest in Peace.