Them and us – Kevin Langley (Everton and Wigan Athletic)

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The visit to Everton this weekend gives TNS the opportunity to heap praise on one of Latics’ greatest ever servants, Kevin Langley.

Kevin, who was born in St Helens on 24th May 1964, was a painter and decorator when he wrote to the club in the summer of 1980 enquiring about the possibility of a trial and upon completion of it, then manager Ian McNeill offered the youngster an apprenticeship.  It was under the managership of Larry Lloyd though that Kevin made his League debut, a Division Four encounter against Northampton Town on 18th September 1981.  He went on to make 160 league appearances at Springfield Park during which he netted on six occasions.

He joined Everton, who were managed at the time by Howard Kendall, in the summer of 1986 for a fee of £120, 000, following his Latics team mate Warren Aspinall to Goodison Park. Initially, njuries to the first choice central midfield pairing of Peter Reid and Paul Bracewell saw him pitched into the Toffee’s starting eleven earlier than expected and he impressed with some of his early performances during which he also picked up a Charity Shield winners medal.  His Toffee’s debut came on 23rd August against Nottingham Forest in a home 2-0 victory.  He was frozen out of the first team on the return of the Toffee’s regular starters and he moved on to Manchester City in March 1987 after just nine months at Goodison Park. In total he played 16 top flight games, scoring twice.  These appearances qualified him for a Division One League winners medal with the Toffees.

He was to make just 9 top flight apperaances at Maine Road during which he failed to find the net.  He had an identical record when he was loaned to Chester City during season 1987/88.  In March 1988 he signed for Birmingham City who were then managed by Garry Pendrey.

After 76 league appearances for the Midlands outfit, during which he netted twice, he was to make an emotional return to Latics.  He went on to make a further 157 league appearances and scored another six league goals before calling time on a Latics career that consisted of 317 league appearances, of which ten came as a substitute, a club record that stands to this day.

After being released in the summer of 1994 he moved on to Bangor City where he became a huge crowd favourite. He was a much loved member of the team that won the Welsh Premier League championship in 1995, representing the club in the UEFA Cup the following season.  In October 1996 he replaced Bryan Griffiths as manager of the club, during which time he signed former Latics heroes Neill Rimmer and Phil Daley.  He lasted just seven months in the post and he resigned in May 1997.

He then had playing spells with Halifax Town. Flint Town United, Witton Albion, and Runcorn.  He subsequently became player.manager of both Congleton Town and Kidsgrove Athletic before becoming the manager of Witton Albion, a post he left in September 2006 to become part of a new youth coaching set up at the JJB Stadium along with Neil Pointon, Dean Crombie and fellow Latics old boy Peter Atherton.

He is currently the manager of North West Counties League, Division One outfit Northwich Villa, a post he accepted in July of this year.

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