I suppose the inspiration for this list is blindingly obvious. There were more boos again on Sunday and I think it’s getting to the stage where people don’t even know what they’re booing at, is it Martinez, is it the players, is it because the bloke next door is doing it or just because they just enjoy paying £20-odd quid to feel utterly miserable?
Now I’ve never really subscribed to the “I’ve paid my money, I’ll moan if I want to” line of argument. I’m generally a ‘in it together’ type of guy but I have had the odd gripe in the past and I’ll not shy away from the fact that I have booed at Laticsmen. Here are the people who’ve earned that dishonour, and a (probably pathetic) attempt at explaining why.
5. Scott Green
I suppose there was some irony when I reached the stage where I had to voice my feelings on this one, but only an ounce or so. It’s best called the Peter Kay effect, the Bolton connection combined with a popularity that belies the fact that, talent wise, you’re living on past glories. I hated Scott Green; in fact I possibly still do and take it out on poor Paul Scharner.
The only thing that I hated more than Scott Green was the moronic “Greeny” chant that accompanied every mistimed tackle or jog up field that left him out of position for the next half hour. It still beggars belief for me that he managed to keep a proper hardman (and better player to boot) in Carl Bradshaw out of the Latics side with nothing but a toothless grin.
4. Steve Senior
The exact nature of Senior’s misdemeanour has been lost in the age addled corners of my memory, but I’m pretty sure it had less to do with some of his match day suit crimes against fashion and more to do with him giving us some gyp after he’d moved to Deepdale. Of course, you’d expect better from an ex-club captain moved to local rivals.
Well you wouldn’t really, this was the early nineties and the Third(?) Division, and you’d be disappointed if you didn’t get a reaction after piling on abuse for most of the game.
Now, booing ex-players is something that I’ve been into, I’m more of an ignore them and hope they don’t embarrass us type, but I was impressionable and the Popular Side hardly needed an excuse to get its bitchy side out. Still, at least Senior’s return to Springfield gave our left winger a day off from his usual abuse.
3. Brian Hamilton
There might be some out there that still think Hamilton should be lauded for taking Harry McNally’s side to the Freight Rover Trophy, FA Cup quarter finals and the verge of greater things (the Second Division), rather than pilloried for dismantling it for a few bob. A coincidence? A necessity of our situation? Maybe, but that felt like the best chance Latics ever had to achieve more for themselves “naturally” and it felt like it was Hamilton that ripped it up and then buggered off to East Anglia.
And then he had the cheek to come back and do it again. Perhaps without the rich vein of talent, but with the odd gem (Parkinson and Atherton in particular) to flog and a (mischievously?) rumoured cut of the transfer fees sewn into his contract. The only thing that saved him from being (in my book) the most hated man to be involved in Latics is that he had the pleasure of working with the man that tops our list.
The kids may love him (well Perm junior certainly does) but that didn’t stop him getting a volley when he made his debut against St. Mirren this summer. I know he’s only doing a job but that’s no need to look so happy about ensuring there was no Christmas 2009 in the Springy household by putting both JJ and Bee out of work. Last I heard they were homeless and trying to scrape together enough cash for a cheap flight to the other Springfield in the hope that their big headed, three fingered, yellow skinned talents would be more appreciated.
1. Bill Kenyon
Now there was something to moan about, it was real, there was every chance that we’d wake up one morning or turn up for the first pre-season friendly and find there’d be no Wigan Athletic. We might have become Skem Athletic, Culcheth Town or something else. We might just have turned to dust. Remember that the next time you see Jason Scotland take to the pitch. The worse thing that could happen this season is that we get to play in the Championship there was a time where it felt like we wouldn’t even have a team to support.
I suppose that I may have missed out on some past disaster, something in the history books with hidden significance, but failing that I just can’t see how anyone who has been a Latics fan, during the period that I have, can think anything but ill of Kenyon’s reign at Springfield Park. It saw the club end up heading out of the league, out of business and out of the town. To me and many others it appeared that the then chairman wanted it that way.
Who knows, maybe he was just a Dave Whelan without the means, trying to do what he thought was best for the club certainly he wasn’t the first (or the last person) to think that Wigan wasn’t the ideal place for a professional football team. I’m sure his family love him; his business interests since leaving Latics mark him out as a kinder soul than we gave him credit for.
Certainly the mists of time and the march of Whelan have softened my view of the man but back then it was pure hatred, so much so that he was probably less popular than the council and Maurice Lindsay thrown together. Ah, happy days.
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