I love Latics’ Stoke games
When the fixture list is released we all have games we look for first. For some its one of the big four such as Man Utd at home. For others its a trip to Newcastle on a weekender.
For me its Stoke!!
Why Stoke, well there are many reasons.
The first is the atmosphere that games between the two clubs generate. Local derbies are the traditional games for passion and indeed hatred but for Wigan the animosity between the two sets of fans tomorrow will match that of Wigan – Bolton.
The rivallry is relatively new going back to February 2000 when Stoke’s first game after the death of footballing legend Sir Stanley Matthews was agaisnt WIgan away.
There are several accounts of what was the catalyst on that day for the trouble but since then there has been no love lost between both sets of fans which has generated the derby atmosphere.
On the pitch things haven’t been quiet either.
Sheridan being controversially sent off in one game, Teale seriously injured in another. Lee Mc’s late goal at the Britannia which went a long way to securing our promotion to the Premier League and who can forget Wigan 6 Stoke 1 when we came back from one nil down at the JJB.
I have to declare an interest in that I am married to a Stoke girl( stoke blue) who is a Latics season ticket holder and will be cheering for us tomorrow. I have many friends in Stoke and in our courting days often went to the Victoria ground to watch Stoke play.
Stoke is like Wigan a working class town which like WIgan hasn’t been all that affluent in recent years. They play a direct style of football with total commitment which has upset the elite within the Premeir League.
Like us, many believe that they do not deserve to be in the Premier League and would like us both to go away which we won’t.
Tommorow is a big game for both clubs with a win catapaulting either club into a mid table postion. Its too early to view it as a six pointer but both sets of fans will be pumped up creating one hec of an atmosphere.
I for one cannot wait