Wigan Athletic have enjoyed a lot of their most successful moments in their history since the turn of the millennium, with the Latics having managed to climb their way through the divisions and make it all the way to the Premier League in 2005.
The Latics went on to spend a prolonged period in the Premier League, defying the odds on numerous occasions to ensure they would survive, despite having one of the lowest budgets in the English top flight – and even when the club did eventually suffer relegation they managed to win their first ever FA Cup in the same season back in 2013.
The town of Wigan is often thought of as more of a Rugby town, but the Latics during their time in the Premier League and in recent seasons have shown that the football club is still very much a massive part of the town’s history and future.
Here then, we take a look at TWO facts about Wigan Athletic that you might not have known…
Wigan’s unusual route into the Football League
Wigan spent most of their early history outside of the English Football League playing non-league football, but that would all change following the end of the 1977/78 season, which had seen the Latics finish the campaign in second place in the Northern Premier behind Boston United.
However, because Boston’s stadium facilities did not meet EFL standards at the time, Wigan were the ones to take their place due to their Springfield Park ground being more suited to EFL regulations, but even that was not enough guarantee their promotion, with clubs at the time needing to be voted in and another side voted out for promotion to happen.
The Latics would need to secure more votes than Southport who had finished that season second from bottom in the old fourth division, and after the first round was tied for votes, Wigan eventually won a re-vote which saw them take the place of Southport in the EFL.
QUIZ: Can you name these 15-ex Wigan Athletic defenders?
Jimmy Bullard’s record run
One of the players that will always be remembered as being one of the most crucial components of the Wigan side that went onto achieve promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history in 2005, and in helping them establish themselves in the top flight is Jimmy Bullard.
The lively midfielder both on and off the pitch was a constant in the side between 2003 and 2005, which saw him rack up a club record of 123 successive appearances, a run which stared in January 2003 and only ended in November 2005 when the Latics were riding high in the Premier League table.
In all Bullard made over 140 league appearances during his three-year spell at the DW Stadium, with the midfielder scoring some memorable goals and helping to be a real driving force on the field during what was one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.
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