Wigan Athletic face Liverpool at the DW Stadium this Wednesday and with the grounds being less than twenty miles apart it`s not surprising that over the years there have been many connections between the two clubs.
Wigan has a large Scouse contingent living in its Borough and so it is only fitting that there have been players who have made the short journey from Anfield down the East Lancashire Road and settled at the Latics
Personnel that have been on the books of both clubs include:
Alan Kennedy, Alex Cribley, Allenby Chilton, Bill Shepherd, Billy Molyneux, Billy Stewart, Bobby Campbell (1961), Bobby Murdoch, Brian Kettle, Chris Kirkland, Chris Lawler, Colin Russell, David Collins, David Fairclough, David Thompson, Derek Brownbill, Emile Heskey, Gordon Milne, Jack Roberts, John Sealey, Kevin Lewis, Larry Lloyd, Louis Bimpson, Mike Newell, Neil Mellor, Paul Dalglish, Paul Jewell, Stéphane Henchoz, Steve Hollis, Tony Kelly.
Emile Heskey became something of a talisman during his time at the Latics following his arrival from Birmingham in June 2006, he almost single handed kept the Latics in the Premier League that first season with some superb displays, most notably the final game at Sheffield United where Heskey was absolutely magnificent both in attack and defence.
Whilst at Liverpool Heskey hit sixty goals in 223 games, helping the Reds to win the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Super Cup. He had joined Liverpool from Leicester City for a then club record £10.5m in March 2000 He left for Birmingham City in a deal worth £6.25m in May 2004.
Alex Cribley was signed by then Latics manager Ian McNeill in November 1980 after failing to make it in the first team at Anfield. He spent eight years playing centre back, right back and in midfield for Wigan Athletic, he scored eighteen goals in 328 games before being forced to retire due to an injury he sustained at Roker Park in a game against Sunderland. He stayed firmly rooted at the club though and went on to become Latics physio. He remains in this role, and has now been employed by Wigan Athletic for 30 years.
Gordon Milne, Larry Lloyd and Paul Jewell have played for the reds and not only played for the Latics but also managed us as well.
These are quite possibly the three most successful managers in the clubs history, Jewells exploits as Latics manager are the stuff legends are made of, whilst Lloyd guided Latics to their first ever promotion as a league club.
Gordon Milne took non-league Latics to Maine Road in 1971 to face the country`s top side, Malcolm Allison`s Manchester City in the 3rd round of the FA cup, Wigan outplayed City for most of the game and almost pulled off a fantastic result, City keeper Joe Corrigan pulling off a Gordon Banks esque save to deny Geoff Davies what would have been a great goal. Unfortunately for the Latics keeper Dennis Reeves split his boot taking a goal kick, the ball fell to the sublime Colin Bell who fired home to knock Latics out of the cup.
Latics and Proud
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