WBA was in great form in the 1887-88 season, scoring 195 goals in 58 first-team matches. WBA also enjoyed another good run in the FA Cup beating Stoke City (4-1), Old Carthusians (4-2) and Derby Junction (3-0) to reach the final against Preston North End. Wilson was selected to play at inside-left.
A crowd of nearly 20,000 watched the final at the Kennington Oval on 24th March, 1888. The 19-year-old Billy Bassett was the star of the game and after one long dribble he passed to Jem Bayliss who scored the opening goal. Fred Dewhurst scored an equalizer early in the second-half but WBA gradually got the upper-hand. According to Philip Gibbons in Association Football in Victorian England: "Bassett tormented their defence". He eventually provided the cross for George Woodhall to score the winning-goal ten minutes from time.
The first season of the Football League began in September, 1888. WBA's professional players received 10 shillings a week, with no bonuses or expenses. Preston North End won the first championship without losing a single match and acquired the name the "invincibles". West Bromwich Albion finished in 6th place with Billy Bassett ending up as the club's top scorer with 14 goals in 25 games. Wilson scored 8 goals in 25 cup and league games.
Preston North End also won the First Division title in the 1889-90 season. WBA finished in 5th place. Top scorer for the club that season was Tom Pearson with 17 goals in 24 games. Wilson managed 8 in 22.
Wilson left West Bromwich Albion at the end of the 1889-90 season. He also played for Kidderminister Harriers and Birmingham St. George before retiring from football.
Joe Wilson died in 1952.