Wigan Athletic Football League players – A to Z – (intro – Dariusz Adamczuk to Peter Atherton)

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Here, due to popular demand, is the first ever COMPLETE LATICS PLAYERS’ A to Z published by any independent fan site.

What follows is THE most comprehensive Players A to Z published anywhere to date.

Please note that the details given concern the FIRST time the player concerned pulled on a Latics shirt for a FOOTBALL LEAGUE game whether or not he played the full 90 minutes or came on as a substitute. All stats are for League games only, play off appearances are not included.

Some of the players never played FOOTBALL LEAGUE games and made just domestic cup appearances and where this is the case I have included them anyway so that fans can be assured that they are reading about EVERY player that turned out for the club. It would be most unfair to exclude them after all they played for this club and should be remembered for doing so.

This club has a great history and every single person named in this project has had a part to play in making Wigan Athletic AFC a Premiership team.

I am in the process of filtering through a lengthy list of players who only appeared on trial at the club, or in various friendlies, they, along with guest players, may well be added sometime in the future.

Bernard Ramsdale.

DARIUSZ ADAMCZUK – PETER ATHERTON

ADAMCZUK, Dariusz
DOB: 20th October 1969
Other clubs: Legia Warsaw, Pogon Szczecin, Eintracht Frankfurt, Dundee, Udinese Calico, Belenenses Rangers, Pogon Szczecin Nowa
Honours: Poland, (11 caps, 1 goal),
Scottish First Division Championship winner 1998 (Dundee)

Dariusz joined Latics on a three-month loan deal from Glasgow Rangers on 9th August 2001. A former Polish International, perhaps his greatest claim to fame was scoring for Poland against England on 29th May 1993 in a World Cup qualifying game. He made his Latics League debut two days later in the opening game of the season against Brentford at the JJB Stadium. The game, which also saw Ian Nolan, Peter Kennedy, Jason De Vos and Gabor Bukran make their debuts, resulted in a 1-1 draw.

He was only to make 3 League appearances without scoring before finding himself confined to the substitutes bench. His last appearance for Latics was on 25th August 2001 in the home League game against Bristol City, which Latics lost 1-2. He returned to Rangers on 2nd November 2001 when the Scottish Premier side agreed to cancel his loan spell due to an injury he picked up five weeks previously. This in turn enabled Latics to sign former Republic of Ireland International Jeff Kenna on loan from Blackburn Rovers on the same day.

He retired from the game after returning to Scotland although he did have a brief spell with Pogon Szczecin Nowa in 2006.

He is also the proud owner of an Olympic silver medal when Poland were beaten 3-2 by Spain in the Final of the football tournament in the Barcelona Summer Olympics of 1992.

ADEKOLA, David
DOB: 19th May 1968
Other clubs: Julius Berger, Bury, Exeter City, Bournemouth, Hereford United, Halifax Town, Hereford United, Bath City, Cambridge United, Bishop Stortsford, Preussen Munster, Viktoria Koln, Brighton and Hove Albion, Billericay. Slough Town, Walton and Hersham, Hendon Town
Honours: Nigeria Under 20’s (3 caps, 1 goal)
Nigeria (2 caps, 1 goal)

David is believed to have lied about his Nigerian International record of 22 full caps and it has also been confirmed that he never played for Charleroi or Cannes before joining Bury! He did however arrive at Latics on 14th October 1994 from Bournemouth but only made 1+3 League appearances without scoring at Springfield Park. His Latics League debut (as a used substitute) came on 22nd November 1994 at the County Ground when Latics lost 0-1 to Northampton Town.

His last game for the club was ironically against Bury, his former club, at Gigg Lane on Boxing Day 1994 which resulted in a 3-3 draw. He signed for Hereford United on 2nd February 1995.

ADKINS, Nigel
DOB: 11th March 1965
Other clubs: Liverpool, Tranmere Rovers, Bangor City (manager), Scunthorpe United (physio), (caretaker manager), (manager), Southampton (manager)
Honours: League of Wales championship winner 1994 (Bangor City) (manager),
League of Wales championship winner 1995 (Bangor City), (manager)
Promotion from League One 2007 (Scunthorpe United) (manager)
League One play off winner 2009 (Scunthorpe United) (manager)
Promotion from League One 2011 (Southampton) (manager)
Promotion from the Championship 2012 (Southampton) (manager)

Nigel, an ex England Schoolboy International, arrived at Springfield Park in August 1986 from his only other Football League club Tranmere Rovers. Latics paid £3,000 for his services. He made his Latics League debut against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on 20th September 1986 where Latics lost 5-1. His final game for the club was a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth at Dean Court on 8th May 1993 after which Latics were relegated to the basement league. In total he played 155 League games before being released at the end of the 1992/93 season. His claim to fame whilst at Springfield Park was the saving of a John Barnes penalty in front of the Kop in a League Cup second round, first leg game in 1989.

In later years he became the manager of Bangor City, leading the Welsh outfit into Europe and two League titles. He then became the manager of Scunthorpe United after a few years working as the club’s physiotherapist, and former Latic Ian Baraclough was Nigel’s assistant. On 14th April 2007 he won promotion to the Championship following Scunny’s 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at Glandford Park. They were relegated the following season but he followed this up with promotion back to the Championship via a play off final win at Wembley in May 2009.

He left the Yorkshire outfit to become the new manager of Southampton on Monday 13th September 2010 and on 2nd May 2011 the Saints were promoted to the Championship.  He followed this up with promotion to the Premier League in May 2012 only to be sacked on 18th January 2013.with the Saints fifth from bottom of the league.  He was replaced by former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino.

AGHAHOWA, Julius
DOB: 12th February 1982
Other clubs: Police Machines, Bendel Insurance, Herning Fremad, Esperance, Shakhtar Donetsk, Kayserispor, Shaktar Donetsk, PFC Sevastopol
Honours: Nigeria (32 caps, 14 goals)
Nigeria Under 17’s (7 caps, 3 goals)
Tunisian League Championship winner 2000 (Esperance)
Ukrainian League Championship winner 2002 (Shaktar Donetsk)
Ukrainian Cup winner 2002 (Shaktar Donetsk)
Ukr

ainian Cup winner 2004 (Shaktar Donetsk)
Ukrainian League Championship winner 2005 (Shaktar Donetsk)
Ukrainian League Championship winner 2006 (Shaktar Donetsk)

Julius arrived at the JJB Stadium on 30th January 2007 after being granted a work permit by a special Home Office Panel earlier that day in Sheffield. A deal was struck with his former club, Shakhtar Donetsk, the previous week which involved a transfer fee of £2.100.000 and everything hinged on his successful work permit application. He joined Chesterfield striker Caleb Folan at the club, who has signed just a couple of days previous and his signing put an end to the rumoured re signing of Nathan Ellington from West Bromwich Albion. He made his Premiership debut on 3rd February 2007 against Portsmouth at the JJB Stadium which Latics won 1-0 to put an end to the club’s longest ever spell without a league win. He went on to make 3+3 Premiership appearances as Latics went on to secure their Premiership status.

After making just 2+10 more appearances the following season he was sold to Turkish outfit Kayserispor for an undisclosed fee in June 2008. His Latics career total was 5+15 Premiership games without scoring. He is currently (end of season 2009/10) playing for his former club Shaktar Donetsk.  He is currently (July 2011) unattached following a season long loan from Shaktar Donetsk to PFC Sevastopol of the Ukraine Premier League.

AINSCOW, Andy
DOB: 12th October 1968
Other clubs: Rotherham United, Altrincham, Garswood United, Ashton Town, Flint Town United

Andy, an England Youth International, originally joined Latics an apprentice and signed professional forms for the club in October 1986. He made his Latics League debut on 12th September 1987 against Doncaster Rovers at Springfield Park, a game which Latics won 2-1.

Unfortunately Andy was injury prone to such an extent that he made just 14+8 League appearances and scored 4 League goals before being transferred to Rotherham United in August 1989 after spending three seasons at Springfield Park.

It was whilst at Millmoor that Andy had to give up the game he loved. He did go on to play at Non League level and he later decided that he wanted to stay in the game, but his plans were dealt a huge blow when in September 2002 he failed to become a referee because of his long standing injury.

AL-HABSI, Ali
DOB: 30th December 1981
Other clubs: Al-Midhaibi, Al Nasr, Lyn Oslo, Bolton Wanderers
Honours: Oman (75 caps 0 goals)

Ali was signed from Bolton Wanderers on a season long loan deal on 15th July 2010. Ironically he originally made his Premier League debut against Latics for Bolton Wanderers in 2007 but he failed to gain regular football at the Reebok Stadium. Hoping for better he made his debut for the Blues on 24th August 2010 in a Carling Cup second round game against Hartlepool United at the Victoria Ground. He made a good start tio his Latics career as the team won 3-0.

He made his Premier League debut on 29th August 2010 against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and he kept a clean sheet again in a 1-0 win for the Blues.  He became a cult hero at the DW Stadium, winning the Player of the Year Award and he was instrumental in the Blues maintaining their top flight status with a superb display against Stoke City on the final day of season 2010/11.  Ali made 34 Premier League appearances for the club during this loan spell and he signed for Latics on a permanent deal on 4th July 2011 on a four year contract for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around the three million pounds mark.

Ali is the most expensive goalkeeper in the club’s history to date.  As at the end of season 2011/12 he had made 72 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

A bit of Ali Al-Habsi trivia – did you know that Ali is the first Omani to play ever in the Premier League?  Indeed, he is also the first Omani to ever play in Europe to play in Europe!

ALCARAZ, Antolin
DOB: 30th July 1982
Other clubs: Teniente Farina, Racing Club, Fiorentina, Beira-Mar, Club Brugge
Honours: Paraguay (23 caps, 2 goals)

Antolin was signed from Club Brugge by Roberto Martinez on 14th May 2010. His signing was a real coup for the club and there were fears the signing would not go ahead when Alcaraz had a superb World Cup tournament with Paraguay! His agent started touting him around the world but the contract he had signed was water tight and he became the first ever Wigan Athletic player to score a goal on the world’s biggest stage in South Africa in June/July 2010.

He made his Premier League debut on 14th August 2010, an opening day home defeat against Blackpool, who won their first ever top flight game 4-0.  He proved to be a more than able centre back and during season 2010/11 he amassed 34 Premier League appearances, netting once.  His appearances record for Latics as at the end of season 2011/12 was 59 Premier League appearances and 3 goals.

AMAYA, Antonio
DOB, 31st May 1983
Other clubs, Rayo Vallecano, SS Reyes, Real Betis

Antonio was part of a double deal of a reported three million pounds which also saw Mohamed Diame switch from Rayo Vallecano. Antonio who signed a three years deal on 14th August 2009, one week earlier than Diame. He made his debut in a 4–1 defeat to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in a Carling Cup second round game on 26 August 2009 scoring Wigan’s goal with a header in stoppage time.

He also featured in two of the season’s FA Cup games, Hull City at the DW Stadium and Notts County at Meadow Lane, but as at the end of season 2009/10 he had not played a league game for the club.

He is currently (July 2011) plying his trade with Real Betis having been allowed a free transfer on 18th July 2011.

APPLETON, Stephen
DOB: 27th July 1973
Other clubs: Bangor City, Southport, Bangor City, Flint Town United
Honours: League of Wales championship winner 1994 (Bangor City)
League of Wales champi

onship winner 1995 (Bangor City),

Steve joined the club on the YTS scheme and signed professional forms in October 1990. His Latics League debut came on 1st September 1990 when he was a used substitute in a 4-3 defeat at Blundell Park against Grimsby Town. He made a total of 31+17 League appearances and scored 1 League goal before being released at the end of the 1992/93 season.

He then played just one game for Southport before embarking on a career in North Wales.
 

ASHCROFT, Lee
DOB: 7th September 1972
Other clubs: Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion, Notts County, Grimsby Town, Port Vale, Huddersfield Town, Southport, Chorley, Northwich Victoria, Kendal Town (player/coach/manager)
Honours: England Under 21’s (1 cap)

Lee was signed by Bruce Rioch on 4th August 2000 and thus ended a three year long wait to bring him to Latics. John Deehan and Ray Mathias tried to sign him whilst the Blues were based at Springfield Park and John Benson failed in an attempt to acquire Lee’s services during the previous season at the JJB Stadium. He signed a three-year deal and was seen as the ideal replacement for the departed Stuart Barlow. He made his Latics League debut on 12th August 2000 against Swansea City at the Vetch Field on the opening day of the season. The game resulted in a 0-0 draw.

He never could fill the boots of Barlow and he found himself failing to make a regular first team place his own. He left the JJB Stadium on 10th October 2002 when he joined Second Division rivals Port Vale in a loan deal that was hoped to be made permanent after a month. However, the deal never materialised and Lee returned to the JJB Stadium only to be loaned out to Huddersfield Town on 9th December 2002. After playing four games for the Terriers and missing one through injury he returned to the JJB Stadium on 13th January 2003. By the 6th February 2003 he had his contract paid up and he left the club. He made 40+10 League appearances and scored 8 League goals for the Blues.

After leaving Latics he drifted into non league football with Conference outfit Southport, playing for a number of clubs before becoming the manager of Kendal Town in January 2007. His assistant is former Latic Ian Kilford.

ASPINALL, Warren
DOB: 13th September 1967
Other clubs: Everton, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Swansea City, Carlisle United, Brentford, Colchester United, Brighton and Hove Albion
Honours: Freight Rover Trophy winner 1995 (Wigan Athletic),
Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1997 (Carlisle United),
Third Division Championship winner 1998 (Brentford)

Warren, who became an England Youth International whilst at Springfield Park, joined the club as an apprentice and signed a professional contract at the beginning of season 1984/85 and he made his Latics League debut on 2nd March 1985 against Orient at Brisbane Road in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw. This debut was made five months before he finally signed professional forms for the club in August 1985.

He had made 21+12 League appearances and scored 10 League goals before being transferred to Everton in February 1986 for a fee of £150,000. As part of the deal he was returned to Latics on loan until the end of season 1986/87 or until promotion was achieved, whichever was earlier. He made a further 18 League appearances and scored 12 more League goals by the end of a disappointing season in which Latics missed promotion by a single point and lost the Northern Final of the Freight Rover Trophy against Bolton Wanderers.

After his playing career finished Warren reportedly blew over a million pounds on a gambling addiction and was moments away from committing suicide by sitting on a railway track with a train rapidly approaching. Thoughts of his family made him jump clear just in time. He checked himself into the Tony Adams funded Sporting Chance clinic and benefitted from his time there as he is now well clear of the demons that threatened to ruin his life.  His last known job in football was as a scout for Port Vale when Vale were managed by Micky Adams.

A bit of Warren Aspinall trivia – did you know that it was Warren who scored Carlisle United’s first ‘live televised’ goal?

ASPINALL, Wayne
DOB: 10th December 1964
Other clubs: Atherton Collieries, Skelmersdale United, Barrow, Northwich Victoria, Atherton LR

Wayne joined his brother, Warren, at Springfield Park in June 1983 from Non League outfit Atherton Colliries. He made just 1 League appearance without scoring before being released at the end of the 1984/85 season. His sole appearance occurred on 24th March 1984 against Preston North End at Springfield Park which Latics won 1-0.

Wayne and Warren never played together in the same team line up and this was the closest Latics have come to achieving that feat until the arrival of Gary and Steve Caldwell in season 2010/11.

ATHERTON, Peter
DOB: 6th April 1970
Other clubs: Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City, Birmingham City, Halifax Town
Honours: England Under 21’s (1 cap)

Peter progressed through the Latics youth set up after impressing whilst playing for the Junior Latics organisation. He achieved a boyhood dream when he signed professional forms for the club on 12th February 1986. He made his Latics League debut on 24th October 1987 against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road where the Blues made 0-0 draw whilst in the midst of an injury crisis. He made 145+4 League appearances and scored just one League goal before being transferred to Coventry City for £300,000. At the time the fee was the highest ever paid by another club for a Latics player. No other former Latics schoolboy player has come anywhere near Peter’s total of Premiership games to date.

He joined Halifax Town in the Football Conference on 20th July 2005 and had to retire from playing the game on 23rd July

2006 on medical advice.

However, within two months he returned to Latics, now located at the JJB Stadium, and became one of a team of four men who were in charge of running the club’s Youth Centre of Excellence, the other three members of the set up were former Latic Kevin Langley, Neil Pointon and Dean Crombie. He was also a member of the Wigan Athletic Grand Masters 2007 football team having played the previous season for the Sheffield Wednesday Masters team.

He is also only one of two players who have won the Player of the Year Award twice.  He achieved this feat at the end of the 1989/90 and 1990/91 league campaigns.  The only other player to have won the award twice is Colin Methven.  This record was eventually broken in April 2006 by Arjan De Zeeuw who had then won it on three occasions.

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