Them and us – Derek Hennin (Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers)

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This latest installment of ‘Them and us’ takes us back to our Non League roots as we delve into the tremendous back catalogue of famous players who went on to play for Latics, admittedly when their Football League careers were over.

Derek Hennin was one such player.  He was a solid, dependable right half and was born in Prescot on 28th December 1931.  His first club was his hometown club, Prescot Cables whom he represented in the St Helens Combination League.  He was snapped up by Bolton Wanderers, managed at the time by Walter Rowley, in June 1949.  He had  a five year wait for his League debut for the Burnden Park outfit, but once he made the starting eleven he was very rarely out of it!

He made 164 appearances for the Trotters during which he netted eight goals and he also featured for Bolton in the 1958 FA Cup Final in which the Trotters beat Manchester United 2-0.  Also in that Bolton team was future Latics star John Higgins.

He departed Burnden Park in February 1961 when he was signed by Bill Lambton, the new manager of Chester.  He was made captain of the side for the following 1961/62 season and left the club rooted to the foot of the Football League in May 1962.  He made 54 appearances at the Deva Stadium, scoring 4 times and Springfield Park was his next port of call.

During season 1962/63 he notched up 38 Cheshire League appearances and he netted just once.  He also appeared for the Blues in an abandoned home game against Winsford United on 29th September 1962.  During this period he was reunited with his former Trotters team mate John Higgins, due in no small part to Latics’ then manager Johnny Ball, a former Trotter himself!  Together they helped Latics win the Liverpool Non League Senior Cup and finish runners up in the Inter League Cup.

Derek sadly passed away in January 1989.

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