Popeye v Bluto

Popeye v Bluto

We were going do a “please buy our t-shirts” article to go with the launch of our new range of designs, celebrating the great, lost, aspects of Wigan’s social scene but we decided to give you a real treat instead. If you enjoyed Tony Topping’s memories of Puffers the other week, then you’re going to

A Life in Pictures 2

A Life in Pictures 2

One of the great pleasures in life as you grow older is looking at photographs from the past. Images of people and places that existed for a little while in your lifetime are whisked away in the blink of a magician’s eye and if you’re lucky you have treasured old photographs to remind you of those fading memories. Wigan Athletic fans don’t have the luxury of flickering black and white images to look back upon that some of the more established football clubs have, our early history being in non-league football. That said my quest to find the footage of Newcastle United v Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup in 1954 goes on, it was filmed but the film remains lost in the mists of time.

Interview With The Minuteman

Interview With The Minuteman

No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of a great man. Carlyle, Thomas   “Heroes and Hero Worship”, 1841 “In the summertime when the weather is fine” sang my little Japanese transistor radio in the summer of 1970. Mungo Jerry’s song would never reach the heights of a

A LIfe In Pictures

A LIfe In Pictures

One of the great pleasures in life as you grow older is looking at photographs from the past. Images of people and places that existed for a little while in your lifetime are whisked away in the blink of a magician’s eye and if you’re lucky you have treasured old photographs to remind you of

The Burnden Park Disaster

The Burnden Park Disaster

Seventy years ago today, n the 9th of March, 1946, 33 people died in an overcrowded Burnden Park. Here, Tony Topping looks at the tragedy and its effects on football

On the morning of Saturday the 9th of March 1946, Bill Hughes left his home at 28, Byrom St, Poolstock to attend a football match. The 56yr old would never return to his Wigan home, he died along with 32 others on the concrete terracing at Burnden Park Bolton.

Three other Wiganers were amongst the dead that day, W. Braidwood aged 40 from 96, Green Lane, Hindley, Harold Mc Andrew of 13, Sharp St, Wigan and Thomas Robey aged 65 from 118, Up Holland St, Billinge.

Table Fever

Table Fever

I’ve done it, the one thing I have avoided to do for so long. No it’s not cooking or hoovering, I’ve looked at the Division 3 table (League One) and now the torment has started. When Wigan Athletic were plodding around in the backwaters of mid table I was carefree and running through the slag heaps of the Three Sisters like a northern Julie Andrews singing “T’hill’s ar alive”

Football Books that I’ve found under the Christmas tree

Football Books that I’ve found under the Christmas tree

Ah Christmas, my favourite time of the year, dark nights, heating on, lights twinkling in the window, carols from Kings College, tons of chocolate, sacks full of nuts (Oooer Missus!) and of course the presents!

Every Christmas present pile since I can remember has contained at least a couple of books. The first thing I do with a new book is smell it, oh yes, the freshness of unsullied paper and ink! I seemed to get a new edition of The Guinness Book of Records every year from age ten to sixteen and I would ahem “entertain” my captive family audience by reading out from it aloud. “Did you know the tallest man who ever lived was Robert Wadlow who was nearly 9ft tall?” Thankfully for my family I shut up when the eagerly awaited Christmas edition of Disney Time started.

You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine

England was a troubled and turbulent place in 1942; the 2nd World War overshadowed everything, well nearly everything. Life went on as best it could around the terraced streets of Wigan. I dare say the children of the day would have been quite pleased that soap rationing meant that Mam could only use one bar

THE FOOTBALL MAN – by Tony Topping

THE FOOTBALL MAN – by Tony Topping



I’ll never forget him, though I’ve long since forgotten his surname, to me he’ll always be known as “Ted the Football Man”

I first met Ted in the early 70’s when I started working at Ashton’s the town’s premier tobacconists. He worked in the warehouse and was a supervisor for a team of packers. My job as a lowly* warehouse boy was to fill the hundreds of shelves with tobacco, sweets and fancy goods so that the packers could quickly find them and put them in boxes for delivery.

My cart