GARY CALDWELL – TOMASZ CYWKA
DOB: 12th April 1982
Other clubs: Newcastle United, Darlington, Hibernian, Coventry City, Derby County, Hibernian, Celtic
Honours: Scotland (51 caps, 2 goals)
Scotland Under 21’s (19 caps, 2 goals)
Scottish Premier League championship winner 2007, 2008 (Celtic)
Scottish FA Cup winner 2007 (Celtic)
Scottish League Cup winner 2009 (Celtic)
Gary was signed by Roberto Martinez for a fee of £1.000.000 from Celtic on 13th January 2010. The Latics manager managed to dissuade him from joining Middlesbrough along with another three of his Celtic team mates (Barry Robson, Willo Flood and Chris Killen). Boro, who were managed by former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan had all but agreed a deal before Martinez got his man. He made his Latic debut on 16th January 2010 in a Premier League away game against Wolverhampton Wanderers which the Blues won 2-0.
As at the end of season 201/12 he had made 75 Premier League appearances, netting on five occasions. He won the 2012 Play of the Year Award and was the team captain as the Blues went into their eight top flight season.
He and Steven are the only brothers to have ever appeared in a first team fixture for the club.
DOB: 12the September 1980
Other clubs, Newcastle United, Blackpool, Bradford City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Burnley, Birmingham City
Honours: Scotland (12 caps)
Steve joined his brother, Gary, at the DW Stadium signing on a free transfer on 23rd August 2010. He had been training with the club during the summer following hios release from Burnley and his contract was for a one-year term. He made his debut the following day against Hartlepool United at the Victoria Ground in a Carling Cup second round tie. The Blues progressed to the next round courtesy of a 3-0 victory.
Steve had to wait until 16th October 2010 to make his first Premier League appearance for the club and he was instrumental in the team earning a 2-2 draw at St James Park against Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw with both Latics goals scored by former Magpies hate figure Charles N’Zogbia! He has since added to his international total of ten appearances for Scotland since arriving at the DW Stadium.
His contract was not renewed at the end of the season and he was released after making 8+2 Premier League appearances without scoring. He is currently (July 2012) plying his trade at Birmingham City.
DOB: 10th May 1977
Other clubs: Sujar Dakar, Espoir Dakar, ASC Diaraf Dakar, Xamax Neuchatel, Strasbourg, Grasshoppers Zurich, CS Sedan, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Celtic, Southampton, West Ham United, Stoke City, Sheffield United, Atromitos, Panetolikos
Honours: Senegal, (99 caps, 31 goals)
Henri was the club’s record signing when he arrived at the JJB Stadium on 6th August 2005. The fee of £3.300.000 made him the town’s most expensive sportsman following in the footsteps of Simon Haworth, Nathan Ellington and Jason Roberts who all previously held that title. He signed a three-year contract and he made his Latics League debut on 14th August 2005 against Chelsea in the first ever Premiership game played at the JJB Stadium. Latics lost the epic encounter 1-0.
Four days later he made his first international appearance as a Latics player when he played in Senegal’s 1-1 draw against Ghana in a friendly game in which he was injured. On October 8th 2005 he became the first Latics player to ever score TWICE in an international game whilst at the club. The game was against Mali in an African Nations World Cup qualifying game and was won 3-0. Henri was also badly missed by the team when he went on African Nations Cup duty for over a month in January 2006. He played five games and scored twice as Senegal finished in fourth place, losing 1-0 to Nigeria in the third/fourth place play off.
By the end of season 2005/06 Henri finished the campaign as the top league goal scorer with 12 Premiership goals in 25+4 Premiership appearances. He was also a member of the team that competed in Latics’ first ever major Cup Final, a 0-4 defeat in the final of the Carling Cup at the hands of Manchester United.
In December of the following 2006/07 Premiership campaign he was named as Senegal’s Player of the Year and paid tribute to Latics by declaring, “People back home laughed at first when I joined Wigan but now they know I’ve never been happier in my career”.
On transfer deadline day, 31st August 2007 he was loaned to West Ham United having failed to feature in any of the Premiership campaign due to injury/fall out with the club.
After failing to gain a place as a first team regular during the first half of season 2008/09 he was loaned to Stoke City on 2nd February 2009 for the remainder of the season. His contract concluded on the last day of June 2009 and he signed a contract with Sheffield United for the remainder of season 2009/10 on 20th October 2009. His full Latics career consists of 46+23 league games with 20 league goals scored and he is currently (July 2012) without a club having last played for Greece Super League outfit Panetolikos
A bit of Henri Cmara trivia – did you know that in late 2007 he featured in Ronaldinho’s squad for a charity football match. The match was between Europe and the Rest of the World. He came on as a substitute and scored 2 goals in the second half of the game to help his team take the victory.
DOB: 13th September 1956
Other clubs: Aston Villa, Halifax Town, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Brisbane City, Bradford City, Derby County
Honours: Northern Ireland, (2 caps)
Third Division Championship winner 1985 (Bradford City)
Bobby was signed by Ray Mathias in October 1986. He made his Latics League debut on 5th October 1986 in a 1-3 defeat against Swindon Town at the County Ground. He did however score Latics’ consolation goal. He finished that season as the top scorer with 16 League goals to his credit in 33+2 League appearances. Perhaps Bobby is most famously remembered for events on 25th August 1987 when Latics travelled to Burnden Park trailing 2-3 in a League Cup first round encounter. He ensured that the Blues won the second leg by scoring all three goals in a 3-1 victory that ensured a second round tie against Luton Town.
His last game for the club was on 2nd May 1988 against Grimsby Town at Springfield P
ark which resulted in a 0-1 defeat in what was the last game of the season. In total he made 61+8 League appearances for the Blues during which he scored 27 League goals during his two season spell at the club.
DOB: 2nd June 1965
Other clubs: Oxford United Stars (Irish Intermediate League), Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Charlton Athletic, Plymouth Argyle, Bradford City, Derry City, Shamrock Rovers, Cliftonville, Rotherham United, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley, Lincoln City, Portadown, Linfield, Bangor City, Cambridge United, Tamworth, Sutton Coldfield Town, Paget Rangers, Formby
Honours: Northern Ireland, (10 caps)
Dave signed for Latics on a non contract basis from Burnley at the start of the 1994/95 League campaign by Kenny Swain. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the season,13th August 1994 against Carlisle United at Brunton Park which resulted in a 2-1 defeat for the Blues. He played just 7 League games for Latics without scoring before joining Cambridge United in October 1994. His first game for the U’s was also his last as a professional footballer, he sustained a leg injury that ended his career in a 6-0 defeat against Brentford.
He still wasn’t quite finished with the game and ended his playing days in the with Formby after stints with three Southern League outfits.
DOB: 13th October 1969
Other clubs: Everton, Bangor City
Jimmy was signed from Everton during the pre season of 1989/90. He made his Latics League debut on 19th August 1989, the opening day of the season, against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The game resulted in a 0-0 draw. He made 30+35 League appearances for the Blues and he scored 6 League goals before being released at the end of the 1991/92 League campaign.
DOB: 14th January 1976
Other clubs: Port Vale, Stafford Rangers, Macclesfield Town,
Honours: Third Division Championship winner 1997 (Wigan Athletic) Auto Windscreens Shield winner 2001 (Port Vale)
Matty was a Latics trainee and after showing a great deal of promise as a youngster he was given his Latics League debut on 2nd October 1993 against Chester City at Springfield Park when he came on as a substitute for Alan Johnson. Latics won the game 6-3 and from that moment on he was a virtual ever present in the team that season making 27+5 League appearances.
He stayed at the club for three and a half seasons before he decided he wanted a move to a bigger club after becoming unhappy at Springfield Park. So he joined Port Vale on a free transfer prior to the 1997/98 season. In total he played 102+17 League games for the Blues without scoring.
DOB: 30th September 1977
Other clubs: Fivemiletown United, Ballinamallard United, Hull City, Manchester United, West Ham United, Rangers, Derby County, Odense Boldklub, Sheffield United (trial), Barnet (trial), Preston North End (trial), OFI Crete, Olympiacos
Honours: Northern Ireland Under 21’s (19 caps),
Northern Ireland (19 caps),
Third Division Championship 1998 (Wigan Athletic)
Auto Windscreens Shield Winner 1999 (Wigan Athletic),
Carling Premier League Championship winner 2003 (Manchester United),
FA Cup winner 2004 (Manchester United)
Roy arrived at Springfield Park on 30th March 1997, a few days after the transfer deadline and he was unable to play during the Championship winning season. He cost Latics £350,000 and was a record signing at the time. The following season (1997/98) saw him make 29 League appearances, becoming the automatic number one at the expense of Lee Butler. He made his Latics League debut, along with Paul Warne, on 30th August 1997 against Bristol City at Ashton gate and Latics were beaten 0-3.
The final season that the club spent at Springfield Park (1998/99) saw him make 43 League appearances and become established in the Northern Ireland squad. During the first season at the JJB Stadium (1999/00) he made 34 League appearances before being ruled out of the last four weeks of the regular season due to contracting appendicitis. On 30th April 2000 whilst laid up in hospital, Roy was voted into the annual PFA Division Two team. The excellent performances of Derek Stillie in his absence meant that Roy didn’t figure in any of the Play-off games, including the Final against Gillingham at Wembley.
His second season at the JJB Stadium (2000/01) concluded with him signing for Manchester United in a £2.500,000 deal on 27th July 2001. He signed a four-year contract for the Old Trafford club after proposed deals with both Leicester City and Everton broke down. His incoming fee was the biggest ever received by Latics at the time, easily beating the previous record of £329,000 that they received from Coventry City for Peter Atherton in 1991. In total Roy played 137 League games for the club.
He is currently (July 2012) playing for Olympiacos after a spell with Danish outfit Odense Boldklub, for wehom he was the Danish Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009, and a failed trials at Sheffield United, Barnet, Preston North End and a short stint at OFI Crete. His first action for his new club was to save a penalty!
DOB: 21st March 1988
Other clubs: Middlesbrough, Sunderland
Honours: England Under 21’s (12 caps)
Lee arrived at the JJB Stadium on 29th July 2008 for a fee of £3.500.000 from Premiership rivals Middlesbrough. He signed a three-year deal, making his firdst appearance fro Latics a day later in a pre season friendly agaionst Barnsley at Oakwell, a game Latics won 6-0. He made his Latics Premier League debut on the opening day of the 2008/09 season against West Ham United at Upton Park on 16th August 2008, a game that resulted in a 2-1 defeat.
As at the end of season 2008/09 his Latics career consisted of 33 Premier League games during which he netted once. On 13th July 2009, just two days before the start of a new Premiership season, Lee signed for Sunderland for a fee of £6.000.000 as former Latics manager Steve Bruce finally got his man after chasing him since he left for the Stadium of Light in May 2009.
A bit of Lee Cattermole trivia – did y
ou know that Lee is the cousin of Paul Cattermole who was a member of pop group S Club Seven?
DOB: 21st February 1979
Other clubs: Real Port St Louis, Le Havre, Bastia, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Doncaster Rovers
Honours: Guadeloupe (3 caps),
France (1 cap),
Carling Cup winner 2008 (Tottenham Hotspur)
Pascal, a Guadaloupe international, was Latics’ second Premiership signing arriving from Bastia, a team based on the French Mediterranean Island of Corsica. He signed on at the JJB Stadium on 8th July 2005 and put pen to paper on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around the £800,000 mark. He arrived shortly after the surprise moves of both Nicky Eaden and Ian Breckin to League One outfit Nottingham Forest. His signing was quite a coup for the club as he turned down the chance to sign for Marseille in preference to Latics. His first game in a Latics shirt was against Elite 3000 in a ‘behind closed doors’ friendly on 20th July 2005. The game was won 5-0 and was a part of Latics’ pre season Denmark training camp schedule.
He impressed on his return to England and it soon became quite clear that Latics had signed a very unorthodox, but brilliant, player. He made his Latics League debut on 14th August 2005 against Chelsea at the JJB Stadium, a game that Latics lost 1-0.
He became a cult figure at Latics, making 37+0 Premiership appearances and scoring twice. He was also a member of the team that played in the club’s first ever major Cup Final. He also became the first ever Latics player to feature in a top flight PFA Team of the Season when he was voted the best right back in the Premiership by his fellow professionals. Then came a bombshell. Within minutes of reaching the dressing room after Latics’ last league game of the season against Arsenal at Highbury, which incidentally, was the last game ever played at the venue, he shocked the whole club and the fans by handing in a written transfer request.
Chairman, Mr Whelan, slapped a £6.000.000 price tag on the player and insisted that if no club paid that for him, he would rot in the reserves for the remainder of his four year contract.
During the pre season of 2006/07 he was called into the French World Cup squad for Germany 2006, something he claimed he would never do whilst playing for Wigan. He made a further substitute appearance for Latics against Reading in a Premiership encounter which Latics won 1-0 at the JJB Stadium before signing for Tottenham Hotspur on 30th August 2006 for a club record £5.250.000 deal bringing an end to Chimbonda’s colourful Latics career.
He played 37+1 Premiership games for Latics scoring twice. He is currently (July 2012) plying his trade at Doncaster Rovers.
A bit of Pascal Chimbonda trivia – did you know that he is the only Latics player to have represented two different countries?
DOB: 17th April 1983
Other clubs; Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i, Gwangiu Sangmu Phoenix, Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Guanghzou Evergrande
Honours; South Korea (36 caps, 1 goal)
K League Championship winner 2008 (Suwon Samsung Bluewings),
Hauzen Cup winner 2008 (Suwon Samsung Bluewings)
Won-Hee impressed during a short trial in February 2009, sfter being released by Suwon Samsung Bluewings. As a free agent he was signed for no fee and his official move was ratified on 6th March 2009. He signed a two and a half year deal. He made his Latics debut on 16th May 2009 in a Premier League game against Stoke City at the Brittania Stadium, which the Blues lost 2-0. He had made just 2+3 Premier League appearances for the Blues before returning to his former club on loan for twelve months.
His lack of first team football was hampering his chances of playing for his country during the 2010 World Cup and the move was deemed as in the best interests of all parties. His spell back home did him no favours and by the time his loan spell was concluded in January 2011 he hadn’t made enough international appearances to get a work permit back into the UK. He left the club in February 2011 on a free transfer to sign for Chinese Super League outfit Gouangzhou Evergrande.
DOB:3rd July 1977
Other clubs: Manchester United, Ipswich Town, Oldham Athletic
Honours: England Under 21’s (2 caps)
FA Youth Cup winner 1995 (Manchester United)
Michael has the honour of being the first player to play for and against Latics at the JJB Stadium. He was in the Manchester United team that played Latics to officially open the Blues’ new home and he arrived at the JJB Stadium to sign for Latics on 23rd March 2000 shortly after his friend, Terry Cooke had arrived in a similar deal from Manchester City. Like Cooke, Michael could have stayed at Latics if things had worked out with regards to the club gaining promotion and the player himself living up to Latics’ expectations.
He made his League debut for Latics at the JJB Stadium on 25th March 2000 in a 2-0 win against Notts County. He failed to impress and after making just 6 League appearances without scoring he returned to Old Trafford after Latics last League game of the season. Latics were still in contention for a place in Division One via the play-offs but Michael was not to be a part of them. His last game for Latics was on 15th April 2000, which was a League encounter against Gillingham in a real six-pointer at the Priestfield Stadium. Latics lost 2-1, a result that went a long way to ensuring that Latics would not gain automatic promotion.
He was last known of as as being Sunderland’s strength and conditioning coach under Roy Keane.
DOB: 12the August 1989
Other clubs: Manchester United, Leicester City, Watford
Honours: England (3 caps)
England Under 20’s (1 cap, 2 goals)
England Under 21’s (13 caps)
Great Britain (5 caps)
League One championship winner 2009 (Leicester City)
Tom was signed by Roberto Martinez on a season long loan deal from Manchester United on 31st August 2010. He made his Latics debut on 11 September 2010, which was also his Premier League debut, replacing Mauro Boselli in the 75th minute of a 1-1 home draw against Sunderland.
As the season progressed it bacame obvious that Tom was certainly destined for greater things and he made 19+6 Premier League games for the Blues netting 4 times before returning to Old Trafford. He is now an established first teamer at Manchester Un
ited and played five games for Team GB in the 2012 London Olympics.
DOB: 30th October 1971
Other clubs: Liverpool, Oxford United, Shelbourne, Athlone Town
Honours: Republic of Ireland Under 21’s (6 caps)
David joined Latics on loan from Liverpool in January 1992. He made his Latics League debut on 11th January 1992 against Bradford City at Springfield Park in a game that Latics won 2-1. He played 8 consecutive League games for the Blues without scoring before returning to Anfield. He was then sold to Oxford United before finishing his career in the League of Ireland.
DOB: 25th November 1961
Other clubs: Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale, Wrexham, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Chester City, Southport, Morecambe. Chorley, Burscough, Fleetwood Hesketh (manager)
Honours: Welsh Cup winner 1986 (Wrexham)
Paul, who is currently employed as a Delivery Officer for the Postal Service, was signed by Harry McNally in the summer of 1983 from Rochdale. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the 1983/84 season, 27th August 1983, against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park. The game resulted in a 0-0 draw and in his first season with the club he became a very dependable defender and by the end of his first season at the club he had made 29 League appearances and had scored 2 League goals. After making just 6 more League appearances the following season he was transferred to Wrexham.
He is also currently (July 2012) the manager of Fleetwood Hesketh FC
DOB: 6th January 1970
Other clubs: Arsenal, Barnsley, Carlisle United, Stockport County, Clydebank, Stranraer, Petershill
Dean was signed on loan from Barnsley on 10th October 1991. He made his Latics League debut the following day against Reading at Springfield Park in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw. His performances for the club endeared him to the fans but the club could not afford the asking price of £50,000 that Barnsley manager Mel Machin was asking for him and after making 12 League appearances during which he netted twice he returned to Oakwell. The following 1992/93 season saw Dean make a further 7 League appearances after Latic secured his services on a free transfer from Barnsley.
His second Latics League debut being against Huddersfield Town at home on 16th February 1993. On 16th March 1993 he was horrifically injured in the 2-1 victory over Stockport County in the Northern final, first leg of the Autoglass Trophy and despite Deano playing for the club for a further season he never really recovered from his injury and was released at the end of the 1993/94 League campaign. In total he made 27+5 League appearances for the Blues during which time he scored 3 League goals.
DOB: 6th June 1977
Other clubs: Watford, Feyenoord, Excelsior, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wimbledon, West Ham United, Leicester City, Sunderland, Southampton
Honours: Republic of Ireland Under 21’s (,),
Republic of Ireland (41 caps, 9 goals)
David was signed on transfer deadline day, 31st August 2005, for a fee of £2,000,000 from Championship outfit Leicester City. His three-year deal included a proviso that the Foxes receive an additional £1 million dependent on his appearances and goal scoring ratio for Latics. A Republic of Ireland international, he made his Latics League debut on 10th September 2005 at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion. In what was a dream debut he scored his first goal for the club in the 40th minute in a game that resulted in a 2-1 win for Latics. Even sweeter for David was the fact that the player he had replaced in the Latics team (Nathan Ellington) was in the losing Baggies team.
On 8th October 2005 he returned to international football after a two-year lay off in the Irish’s 1-0 win over Cyprus in a World Cup qualifying game. He failed to get a regular first team place in the team and made 5+11 Premiership appearances, scoring once. His last appearance for Latics was a Premiership fixture against Reading at the JJB Stadium on 26th August 2006 which the Blues won 1-0.
He had made just two substitute appearances during the 2006/07 season before being transferred to Sunderland for an undisclosed fee on 31st August 2006. Also joining him at the Stadium of Light was his Latics team mate Graham Kavanagh who also signed for the Mackems on the same day. He is currently (July 2012) out of the game after plying his trade at Southampton.
DOB: 22nd February 1967
Other clubs: Marine, Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County, Burnley, Accrington Stanley, Southport (manager), Sligo Rovers (manager), Accrington Stanley (manager)
Honours: League of Ireland Cup winner 2010 (Sligo Rovers) (as manager),
FAI Cup Final winner 2010 (Sligo Rovers) (as manager)
FAI Cup Final winner 2011 (Sligo Rovers) (as manager)
Paul was spotted by Harry McNally playing Non League football for Marine and he signed for Latics on 20th August 1984 and he made his Football league debut for the Blues on 17th March 1985 against Walsall at Springfield Park. It was to be an unhappy debut as the Blues lost 1-2. He made 77+6 League appearances and scored 14 League goals at Springfield Park before he was transferred to Norwich City on 23rd May 1988 for a fee of £73,000.
Paul signed for Latics for the second time 30th November 2001 in a one-month loan deal from First Division side Burnley. He made his second Latics League debut on 1st December 2001 in a home game against Swindon Town which the Blues won 1-0. He played a further 6 League games, without scoring, before returning to Turf Moor on 29th December 2001 after the home 0-0 draw against Bournemouth. In total he made 83+6 League appearances for the Blues, scoring 11 League goals.
In May 2003 he retired from the professional game and drifted into non-league football with Accrington Stanley. He became the player coach of the team that finally won a place in the football league in May 2006 before becoming the manager of Conference outfit Southport in June 2006. However, he resigned from the post in January 2007.
He then took on the manager’s job at Sligo Rovers, guiding them to the FAI Cup Final in 2010 and 2011, winning on both occasions. He became the new manager of Accrington Stanley on 13th February 2012.
DOB: 5th August 1976
Other clubs: Manchester United, Sunderland, Birmingha
m, Wrexham, Sheffield Wednesday, Grimsby Town, Colorado Rapids, North Queensland Fury, Gabala (Azerbaijan)
Honours: England Under 21’s (4 caps),
Second Division Play Off Final winner 1999 (Manchester City)
Terry arrived at the JJB Stadium on 7th March 2000 on a months loan after failing to make the grade for Manchester City in Division One. Terry was not keen to step down a Division but agreed to the move when he was told that his signing could be made permanent if Latics were to win promotion. He made his League debut for Latics on the same day that he signed for the club in a 5-1 win against Blackpool at the JJB Stadium.
Things seemed to be fine and by 8th April 2000 he agreed to stay with Latics for a further month. Towards the end of his loan period he found himself on the bench or omitted from the first team altogether and he returned to Maine Road immediately after Latics’ last League game of the season against Bournemouth. He made 10 League appearances and scored just 1 League goal whilst at the JJB Stadium. He is currently (July 2012) out of the game and his last club Gabala in Azerbaijan whose manager was Tony Adams.
DOB: 22nd June 1964
Other clubs: Moor Green, Birmingham City, Halifax Town, NAC Breda, Newport County, Plymouth Argyle, Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers, Peterborough United, York City, Airdrieonians, Ayr United
Honours, Third Division Play Offs winner 1991 (Tranmere Rovers)
Steve arrived at Springfield Park on Christmas Eve 1992 on a month’s loan from Tranmere Rovers. He made his Latics League debut on 26th December 1992 against Bolton Wanderers Burnden Park in a game that Latics lost 2-1. His stay at the club saw him make just 4 League appearances during which he didn’t score a goal before returning to Prenton Park. At Tranmere earlier in his career he played up front with another future Latic, Jim Steel.
He used to do a spectacular somersault every time he scored, which figured seeing as he was an accomplished gymnast in his teens. Sadly the Springfield Park faithful were never treated to this spectacle. His final game for the club was on 24th January 1992 in a home game against Reading that resulted in a 1-1 draw. He signed for York City from Tranmere Rovers and after one season at Bootham Crescent had a wonderful five seasons at Airdieonians in Scotland before finishing his playing career at Ayr United.
He was inducted into the Airdrieonians Hall of Fame in 2004 but he never saw it as he died in February of that year.
DOB: 13th November 1952
Other clubs: Blackpool, Walsall, Burton Albion, Bangor City, Northwich Victoria, Stafford Rangers, Witton Albion.
Frank was spotted by Ian McNeill playing part time football for Northwich Victoria and he played 13 Northern Premier League games during the Blues’ last season as a Non League club. He gave up his job to turn professional for Latics’ inaugural season in the Football League. He proved to be a valuable acquisition and his previous Football League experience at Blackpool and Walsall was very important to the team. He made his Latics League debut on 19th August 1978 against Hereford United at Edgar Street. The game was Latics’ first League game and resulted in a 0-0 draw.
He made 45 League appearances that season and missed just the one game against Aldershot at the Recreation Ground on 21st April 1979. In total he played 123+3 League games for the Blues and scored 10 League goals before being released by the club at the end of the 1980/81 season.
DOB: 4th December 1987
Other clubs: Bristol City, Sheffield United, Swansea City, Portsmouth, Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers
Honours: Wales Under 19’s (3 caps, 1 goal),
Wales Under 21’s (9 caps, 4 goals),
Wales (19 caps, 1 goal)
David was signed from Bristol City, his only previous club, on 31st August 2006. He arrived at the JJB Stadium in a £2.000.000 deal that would see him sign a three-year contract. He is the youngest player to ever play for Wales and he signed for the club on the same day as Kevin Kilbane and Svetoslav Todorov. He made his Premiership debut on 9th September 2006 against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in a game that resulted in a 0-1 defeat, entering the field of play as a 78th minute substitute for Gary Teale.
He made 7+11 Premiership appearances for Latics, scoring once before being loaned to Sheffield United on 8th February 2006 for the remainder of the 2007/08 season where he made 15+1 league appearances for the Blades without scoring before returning to the JJB Stadium. He signed permanently for the Blades on 28th July 2008 for an ‘undisclosed’ fee.
He is currently (July 2012) plying his trade at Doncaster Rovers, following a failed trial at Leicester City, and a short spell at Barnsley having been released by Swansea City in January 2012.
A bit of Cotterill trivia – did you know that David’s dad was a huge Manchester United fan and named his son David Rhys George Best Cotterill?
DOB: 1st April 1957
Other clubs: Liverpool, Wigan Athletic (physio)
Alex was signed by Ian McNeill on a free transfer from Liverpool in late October 1980 after having played a couple of matches in Latics’ reserve team. He was signed as a replacement for the tragic Neil Davids who had broken his leg in a League game against Tranmere Rovers a week earlier. Ironically the player who did the damage was Clive Evans, who later signed for Latics.
Alex made his Latics League debut on 1st November 1980 against Bournemouth at Dean Court in a 0-3 defeat. Alex, a truly great servant of the club scored his first League goal against Wrexham in a game at Springfield Park on 4th April 1983 when Bobby Charlton was the caretaker manager of the club at a time when there were real doubts as to whether the club would exist the following season.
His distinguished playing career came to an end on 10th October 1987 when he injured his ankle when tackling Gary Owers to prevent a Sunderland goal after just seven minutes of the game at Roker Park had elapsed. Despite many operations he was finall
y advised to retire and by the time he had packed away his boots he had made 268+3 League appearances for the Blues scoring 17 League goals in the process.
On Sunday 6th May 1990 he was given a testimonial game when a full strength Everton team including ex Latic Mike Newell visited Springfield Park. The game resulted in a 3-2 win for the Toffees with Jimmy Carberry and Bryan Griffiths scoring for Latics. Tony Cottee, Pat Nevin and an own goal from Alan Johnson couldn’t spoil a happy day for Alex.
However, his Latics career still wasn’t entirely over. On 1st September 1994 he became caretaker manager of the club following the dismissal of Kenny Swain. He resided over a 1-2 defeat by Barnet at Springfield Park before Graham Barrow took over the reigns on 9th September 1994. Alex is still (January 2012) employed at the club the team physio and long may it continue.
DOB: 17th February 1974
Other clubs: Grimsby Town, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Cardiff City, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City
Honours: England Under 21’s (4 caps),
Gary arrived at the JJB Stadium on month’s loan from Ipswich Town on 17th January 2002. He was signed because the Blues were struggling with a defence that was lacking in numbers following injuries to Matt Jackson and Arjan De Zeeuw and a call up to the Canadian International team for Jason De Vos as Canada went in defence of the Gold Cup which they won two years previously.
He made his Latics League debut against Brentford at Griffin Park on 19th January 2002 in a game that resulted in a 1-0 win for the Blues. In total he made 7 League appearances for Latics without scoring and he returned to Ipswich Town on 19th February 2002. On transfer deadline day 28th March 2002 he joined Second Division rivals Cardiff City on loan until the end of the season. He retired rom the game in May 2008 after a spell at Lincoln City, whose Director of Football is former Latics manager, John Deehan.
He currently (July 2012) works in an Estate Agency and co commentates on all Grimsby Town football matches for Compass FM.
A bit of Gary Croft trivia – did you know that Gary made his England Under-21s debut against their Brazilian counterparts, along with David Beckham on 6th June 1995?
DOB: 6th March 1958
Other clubs: Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Runcorn, Telford United. Southport, Accrington Stanley
Alan was signed from Blackburn Rovers during the pre season of 1978/79, Latics’ first as a Football League club. He made his Latics League debut on 23rd August 1978 at Springfield Park against Grimsby Town. This was Latics’ first ever home game in the Football League and he came on as a substitute in the 3-0 defeat. In fact he goes down in history as Latics’ first substitute to be used in a League game. Just for the record he replaced Geoff Gay. He made 7+6 League appearances that season without hitting the back of the net.
The following season saw Alan struggling with injury and he was to make just one more League appearance (as a substitute) against Torquay United at Springfield Park on 6th October 1979 which the Blues lost 0-3. He was released shortly after that game to join Runcorn.
DOB: 25th January 1970
Other clubs: Altrincham
Jon, the son of Latics’ Youth Development Officer at the time, David, arrived at the club as a YTS trainee. He never made the grade at Springfield Park but he did manage to play 1 League game for the club before joining Altrincham. This was on 30th September 1989 at Griffin Park, a game that the Blues lost 1-3.
DOB: 13th May 1983
Other clubs, Espanyol B, Espanyol, Rayo Vallecano, LleIda, Almeria,
Honours: Spain Under 16’s (10 caps, 1 goal).
Spain Under 17’s (3 caps, 1 goal)
Spain Under 18’s (3 caps)
His Premier League debut was a real baptism of fire as he entered the field of play as a substitute with his team losing 3-0 against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on 10th September 2011. At least during his twenty minutes on the field things didn’t get any worse with a 3-0 defeat veing the final score.
His final appearance tally as at the end of season 2011/12 read 4+11 Premier League appearances and one goal scored.
Craig started his career as a junior with the Blues and he made his Latics debut on 30th January 2001 against Walsall in a second round Leyland Daf Van Trophy game at the Bescot Stadium. In the 73rd minute of the game, which Latics lost 1-2, he replaced veteran Neil Redfearn.
However, that was his only taste of first team football at the JJB Stadium and he was released at the end of the season without playing a League game for the club.
DOB: 2nd September 1954
Other clubs: Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers
Towards the end of Latics’ first season as a Football League club John was signed on loan from Blackburn Rovers. He made his Latics League debut on 28th March 1979 in a game against Hereford United at Springfield Park which resulted in a 0-0 draw. He proved an instant it with the fans and Ian McNeill and before the season was over he had signed for the club in a permanent deal.
However, the injury jinx that had already robbed Latics of the services of Neil Davids struck John at the start of the
following 1979/80 season when , in a freak training ground accident John broke his leg. He didn’t play during the whole of the following season and made his comeback at the start of season 1980/81. However, Larry Lloyd released John at the end of that League campaign and in he played 32 League games without scoring.
A bit of John Curtis trivia – did you know that John is a former England Schools hurdles champion?
DOB: 27th June 1988
Other clubs: Gwarek Zabrze, Oldham Athletic, Derby County, Reading, Barnsley
On 10th March 2006 manager Paul Jewell signed the Polish starlet on a three year deal that would commence in the summer of 2006. The 17 year old midfielder impressed during a weeks trial at Christopher Park and rather than run the risk of losing the Polish youth international he opted to sign him. He played his first game for Latics on 2nd August 2006 against Southport at Haig Avenue in a pre season fixture that Latics won 2-0.
His first taste of competitive action came on 20th September 2006 when Latics were beaten 2-0 by Crewe Alexandra in a Carling Cup, Second Round fixture at Gresty Road. He is still to make his Premiership debut and on 31st October 2006 he was loaned to League One outfit Oldham Athletic in order to gain experience of playing at a competitive level of English football. In signing on at Boundary Park he teamed up with Latics legend Andy Liddell. He also failed to appear in any first team games during the 2007/08 season.
His next action for Latics came on 2nd January 2009 when he was a used substitute in a 3-1 defeat in a FA Cup third round game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and those were his only appearances for the club. He joined Derby County on loan in January 2010 and the move was made permanent on 26th May 2010.
He is currently (August 2012) playing for Barnsley, along with former Latic Mido, after being released by Reading in June 2012.
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