So we’ve had a little dalliance with the present and recent past there in the high forties entries and now as we enter the part of the contest where the Top 40 Wigan Athletic players start to be revealed, we cast our eyes back a little bit further to a player who was a firm fan’s favourite for many a year.
Can I ask you all to briefly sing along one last time: (to the tune of 2 Unlimited’s “No Limits”)
“IAN, IAN..IAN, IAN..IAN, IAN, IAN KILFORD!!!!!
Cheeky chappy Bristolian Ian “Killer” Kilford started his career at Nottingham Forest as a trainee but only made one first team appearance before being loaned to Wigan Athletic in 1993, then a struggling fourth division team.
After playing 8+0 League games and scoring 3 League goals for the Blues he returned to the City Ground. However, on 13th July 1994 Ian’s move was made permanent by Kenny Swain. Killer was a shining light in a struggling Wigan Athletic side with his energy and drive from midfield and knack of getting into the box at the right time. He was a key part of the Division Four Championship winning side under John Deehan in 1996/97 along with a certain Roberto Martinez and a couple of years later was part of that squad who made the move across to the JJB Stadium from Springfield Park.
Kilford’s career was synonymous with Wigan Athletic and he had been at the club for eight years and was the club’s longest serving player before being released at the end of season 2001/02 with Latics now a completely different club from the one he had joined. Like with Martinez, his release was tinged with disappointment as he had been a key influence of the early part of the journey of Latics rising up the leagues and in today’s terms, eight years at one club is stalwart territory and it is only a shame that through injury and in the latter years, investment in the squad meant that the original “Killer” didn’t make more appearances.
He played 178+43 League games for Latics, scoring 28 League goals. In September 2002 he signed for Third Division outfit Bury on a non-contract basis but he never played a game for the Shakers.
On 8th November 2002 he joined Scunthorpe United on a non-contract basis and returned to League Football before drifting into non league circles. To date, he is the assistant manager of Kendal Town working alongside another former Latics player who unsurprisingly didn’t receive too many votes for the Top 50 Hall of Fame, Lee Ashcroft.
If you want to mither him on twitter, you can do by following him @kilford18. The blonde locks are gone but he’s still smiling. His profile says “proud Wigan legend” and here at TNS we’re certainly not going to argue with that!
TNS TOP 50 RUNDOWN
40. Ian Kilford
41. Hugo Rodallega
42. James McCarthy
43. Mickey Worswick
44. Noel Ward
45. Simon Haworth
46. Gary Caldwell
47. Mike Pollitt
48. Bert Llewellyn
49. Bryan Griffiths
50. = Graham Barrow
50. = Maynor Figueroa
50. = Paul Jewell
50. = Graham Kavanagh
50. = Henri Camara
50. = Lee Cattermole
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