Here we go again on another THROWBACK THURSDAY. Short but sweet this week, with our admiration and honour going to the man, the myth and the legend, known as Pete Wallace.
Disappearing into somewhat folklore and obscurity, Pete was an awesome role model and supremely fit member of the famous ’94 squad that won the Sussex Championships for the first time in 81 years. Pete was literally the 8th man, in terms of being a ready and willing bench player, always fit and always eager, as well as offering the younger generation tips and encouragement along the way. His style of play was tenacious and relentless, as his strength made him hard to get away from and his fitness meant not only could he catch you if you got free, but he could keep up the onslaught for as long as you were willing to fight back!
Pete is well remembered for his family links in Stuttgart, which led Worthing to embark on an annual trip to Germany for the Stuttgart Tournament, a tradition that spanned a number of years. However, Pete Wallace is probably best known for a series of legendary stories. One being the fact that he lived in Worthing but worked in Brighton, and would cycle to and from work everyday. Another story is one often told when some of the more senior players sit around a metaphorical campfire, remembering the horrific but hysterical incident at Lancing college after a training session. At the College, three open showers in the men’s changing room are situated by poolside, protected by the changing room wall. Dean Orchard was in the first shower, Paul Phillpott was in the third shower and poor innocent Pete was in the second shower, in the middle of Deano and Paul. There were no words exchanged, but as Pete stripped down to his birthday suit and soaped up his bald head and face, Deano and Paul nodded at one another, before throwing the helpless Pete Wallace into the pool, naked and blinded by his own soap suds. He was shocked. Not as shocked as the spectators, many of whom were parents.
The final story represents Pete’s supreme fitness and love of triathlons. Pete entered and finished pretty high in a number of events in and around the South East. He turned up for the Brighton Triathlon well prepared and with his head strong attitude he often showed on the water polo pitch. It wasn’t until the line up for the start of the event,( a sea swim of ample distance), that Pete noticed something slightly concerning. Of all the competitors, Pete was the only one in just trunks. All the other athletes were in various versions of wetsuits and body suits. He thought little more of it. Literally. They found Pete on the roadside during the running segment of the Triathlon,( as the story goes), having done the swim and the cycle ride, but having zero recollection of any of it. He had developed hypothermia due to the freezing temperatures of the sea swim, and his Triathlon was at an end! As is this edition of THROWBACK THURSDAY. So Peter Wallace, we salute you and your immortality at Worthing SC.
That’s all for this week, but feel free to suggest a modern day equivalent to the super fit Pete Wallace via twitter @poloworthing or comment on Facebook.