League One Lowdown: Wigan Athletic

Last updated : 26 September 2020 By Jim Bonner

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1932

Chairman: Darren Royle

Last Season: Championship - 23rd (Relegated)

Nickname: The Latics

Rivals: Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End

Major Honours

F.A. Cup: 2013

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Wigan: Saturday, September 26th (3pm)

Wigan vs Portsmouth: Monday, April 5th (3pm)

Wigan Athletic: A brief history

Wigan Athletic were formed in 1932 after previous football clubs in the town went under but they weren't elected to the Football League until 1978 when they took Southport's place.

The Latics won the Freight Rover Trophy in the 80's as they spent their early years in the Football League in the bottom two divisions before JJB Sports owner Dave Whelan bought the club when they were in the fourth tier in 1995. Under his ownership, the Latics would rise up the leagues gradually and were promoted to the Premier League in 2005.

During their eight year tenure in the top flight, Wigan continued to annoy the football elitists by being competitive and when they were finally relegated in 2013, they pulled off one of the biggest shocks in recent F.A Cup history by beating heavy favourites Manchester City in the final to win their only piece of major silverware. Since then, the club has been relegated to League One, promoted and then relegated again with many managers coming and going during that period.

In 2020, a dubious ownership situation saw the club plunged into administration and relegated from the Championship because of a points deduction. The club now fights for its very survival after a mass exodus of players during the summer.

The Manager: John Sheridan

The 55-year-old spent his early playing career as a midfielder for Leeds United in the 80's and Sheffield Wednesday in the 90's. He ended his playing career at Oldham Athletic where he was appointed manager in 2006 after a couple of spells as caretaker.

Despite signs of promise he was sacked in 2009 and appointed as Chesterfield manager where he won promotion to League One only to experience relegation the season after followed by his resignation early in the 2012/2013 season.

His next destination was Plymouth but he failed to get Argyle promoted despite signs of promise and left the club in the summer of 2015 only to turn up at Newport last season with the Welsh side struggling. No sooner had he made an impact there had he decided to return to Oldham to rescue them from relegation but rather than stay there he took the job at Notts County in May 2016.

After being sacked from County last season following a terrible run of results, Sheridan once again returned to Boundary Park to perform his rescue act, staving off relegation from Oldham once again. He has since managed Fleetwood, Carlisle, Chesterfield and Waterford before joining the Latics this summer.

Match To Remember: Wigan Athletic 1 Portsmouth 2 (Premier League - 29/04/2006)

This game didn't go Pompey's way in the first half when Henri Camara gave the Latics the lead at the break but Benjani finally nodded in his first goal for the club at point blank range to equalise.

Gary Teale was then sent off for handball in the box and Matt Taylor converted the penalty to win the game and secure the Great Escape, sending West Brom and Birmingham down. Pompey fans took to the pitch in bedlam to celebrate an unlikely survival.

Match To Forget: Portsmouth 0 Wigan Athletic 2 (Premier League - 05/11/2005)

Alain Perrin's struggles continued as goals from Pascal Chimbonda and Jason Roberts condemned his team to another home defeat on a dreadful Bonfire Night for the Blues.

The Ground: DW Stadium (Capacity: 25,000 - Away: 4,800)

I've lost my photos from the DW Stadium but it is one of League One's best venues in terms of facilities, capacity for a huge Pompey following and the view of the pitch. The pies are pretty good too, as you'd expect from Wigan.

To their credit, the Wigan fans who turned up to watch their team in the Premier League years ensured the atmosphere wasn't the worst. Who knows what it will be like in League One, though?