Wigan Athletic Football League players – A to Z – (Kristofer Haestad to Bobby Hutchinson)

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HAESTAD, Kristofer
DOB: 9 December, 1983
Other clubs: Start, Valerenga IF
Honours: Norway (27 caps, 1 goal)
Kristofer was signed on 29th December 2006 on a six month loan deal from Norwegian Premier League outfit, Start. The deal, like Andreas Granqvists’s the previous day was expected to be made permanent at the end of the season. His first game for Latics was in a 1-2 defeat against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 6th January 2007 in a FA Cup, third round game. He came on as a substitute fro Denny Landzaat in the 72nd minute.

He then made his Latics Premiership debut on 13th January 2007 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where an injury ravaged Latics side was beaten 4-0. He was only to play one more Premiership game as a used substitute before returning to Norway having failed to settle in England. Ironically, he represented his country during his time at the JJB Stadium three times, despite not being deemed good enough for Premiership football with Latics. On 2nd January 2008 he signed a four-year deal with Valerenga IF

A bit of Kristofer Haestad trivia – did you know that in June 2006 he recorded a pop song entitled ‘This Is For Real’ with four fellow footballers, including Blackburn Rovers star Morten Gamst Pedersen, calling themselves ‘The Players’?.

DOB: 20 July, 1975
Other clubs: Honefoss, Jevnaker, Liv/Fossekallen, Stromsgodset, Valerenga, Zenit St Petersburg, Hønefoss
Honours: Norway (28 caps, 3 goals)

Erik was signed on 31st January 2008 in a loan deal from Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg. The deal was initially to run until the end of the season with the possibility of Erik making the move permanent. He made his Latics Premiership debut on 29th March 2008 in a game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park, which the Blues lost 2-0. He was played because his fellow new signing, Erik Edman, had picked up a season ending injury the previous week. However, this was his only Premiership appearance of the season.

He was not retained by manager, Steve Bruce, and signed for one of his former clubs, Valerenga on 1st August 2008. In doing so he teamed up with former Latic Kristofer Haestad and his own twin brother Rune. He is currently (January 2012) plying his trade with Jevnaker where he stared his career.

A bit of Hagen trivia – did you know that he was the first Norwegian to ever play in Russia?

HALL, Fitz
DOB: 20 December, 1980
Other clubs: Barnet, Oldham Athletic, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United

Fitz was signed on 26th June 2006 from Crystal Palace for a fee of £3.000.000. He was the first player signed for the 2006/07 Premiership campaign and manager Paul Jewell was delighted to get his man after his second raid on the Eagles. Just weeks earlier Palace had accepted a bid from Latics of £8.500.000 for Fitz’s team mate Andy Johnson but unfortunately for Latics Johnson opted to join Latics’ Premiership rivals Everton. His first game for Latics was against Iranian giants Perspolis Tehran on 25th July 2006 in an Austrian training camp game which Latics won 4-2.

He made his Latics Premiership debut on 19th August 2006 against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, with Latics going down 1-2. He went on to make 22+2 Premiership appearances without scoring by the end of the season. He made just one further Premiership appearance during the first half of the following season before being transferred to Queens Park Rangers for an ‘undisclosed’ fee on 1st January 2007 with whom he won promotion to the Premier League in May 2011 after a loan spell at Newcastle United.

A bit of Fitz Hall trivia – did you know that Fitz was an extra in the 1996 Bruce Willis film, The Fifth Element?

DOB: 07 November, 1960
Other clubs: Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Chester City, Burnley, Chorley, Barrow, Great Harwood Town, Mossley, Rochdale (coach), Accrington Stanley (coach), Preston North End (coach), Great Harwood Town (asst player.manager), Mossley, Rochdale (youth team manager), Rochdale (manager), Wigan Athletic (chief scout), Derby County (chief scout), Walsall (chief scout), Ipswich Town (chief scout)

Dave, a former England Youth International, was signed from Blackburn Rovers by Ray Mathias for the start of the 1986/87 season. He arrived at Springfield Park along with John Lowey and Chris Thompson who were also snapped up from Ewood Park. He made his Latics League debut on 23rd August 1987, the opening day of the season, against Notts County at Meadow Lane in a game which the Blues lost 0-2. He was to stay at Springfield Park for three full seasons during which time he made 97+6 League appearances and scored 7 League goals before signing for Chester City.

He won the Player of the Year Award at the end of season 1987/88.

He returned to Latics as chief scout at the start of the 2002/2003 season and left in December 2007 and followed former Latics manager Paul Jewell to Derby County. He is currently (May 2011) the chief scout for Ipswich Town who are managerd by ex Latics manager Paul Jewell.  He previously helf the same post at Walsall who are managed by former Latics manager Chris Hutchings until his dismissal in January 2011.

A bit of David Hamilton trivia – did you know that Dave was captain of the England Youth team that was coached at the time by legendary Brian Clough and Peter Taylor? It was also Dave who recommended Jimmy Bullard and Luis Antonio Valencia to then Latics boss Paul Jewell.

DOB: 21st October 1974
Other clubs: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town, Farnborough Town, Sutton United, Aldershot, Bracknell Town

Paul, the son of Ray Harford, was signed on a month’s loan from Blackburn Rovers on 2nd September 1994.

He made his Latics League debut the following day against Barnet at Springfield Park and the Blues lost 1-2.

He played 3 consecutive League games without scoring before returning to Ewood Park.


HART, Nigel
DOB: 1st October 1958
Other clubs: Chesterfield, Leicester City, Blackpool, Crewe Alexandra, Bury, Stockport County, York City, Droylesden

Nigel who hailed from Golborne, started his career as an apprentice at Springfield Park and whilst with the Blues he was to make just 1 League appearance before moving on to Leicester City. This game occurred on 19th September 1979 against Hartlepool United at Springfield Park and resulted in a 2-1 victory for the Blues.

Some Nigel Hart trivia – did you know that Nigel is the son of former Manchester City great Johnny Hart and that his brother, Paul managed Portsmouth against Latics in a Premier League fixture on the final day of season 2008/09?

DOB: 30th March 1977
Other clubs: Cardiff City, Coventry City, Tranmere Rovers
Honours: Wales Under 21’s (8 caps),
Wales B (1 cap),
Wales (5 caps)

Simon was Latics’ record signing when Ray Mathias paid Coventry City £600,000 for his services on 2nd October 1998. Not only was he Latics’ most expensive acquisition but he also became the costliest sportsman to ever represent a Wigan sporting team when he signed on the dotted line. He made his Latics League debut on 3rd October 1998 in a home game against Northampton Town which the Blues won 1-0. He spent almost four years at the club and towards the end of his time at the JJB Stadium he made no secret of the fact that he wanted to leave the club.

On 28th February 2002 he got his wish when Tranmere Rovers secured his services for a fee of £125,000. In total he made 99+18 League appearances for the Blues and scored an impressive 44 League goals. A tally that made him the club’s third highest League goal scorer behind David Lowe and Peter Houghton.

Rovers were Simon’s final league club and he retired from playing towards the end of season 2004/05 after picking up a serious injury. He is currently (January 2012) making a living as a players’ agent.

DOB: 13th April 1966
Other clubs: Stoke City, Hereford United, Merthyr Tydfil, Stafford Rangers

Chris was a loan signing from Stoke City and his football career never really took off due to having a hole in his heart. However, Ray Mathias took a gamble on him and brought him to Springfield Park in January 1989 with a view of signing him on a permanent deal if things worked out for him. He made his Latics League debut on 21st January 1989 against Brentford at Springfield Park in a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw. His stay at the club was never extended and he made 4 consecutive League appearances without scoring during his four week stay at the club.

Some Chris Hemming trivia – did you know that Chris played whilst fitted with a heart pace maker?

HENCHOZ, Stephane
DOB: 7th September 1974
Other clubs: Stade Payerne, Bulle, Neuchatal Xamax, SV Hamburg, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, Celtic
Honours: Switzerland Under 21’s (,
Switzerland (72 caps),
FA Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool),
UEFA Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool),
League Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool)

Stephane, holder of 68 International caps and the subject of past transfer dealings amounting to £6.5 million, arrived at the JJB Stadium on trial in mid July 2005. He played in a behind closed doors friendly against Elite 3000 during a training camp in Denmark and subsequently impressed manager Paul Jewell enough to be offered a contract on the club’s return to England. He signed a one-year deal and arrived on a free transfer having been released by Celtic at the end of season 2004/04. He made his Latics League debut on 14th August 2005 against Chelsea at the JJB Stadium, a game that Latics lost 1-0.

By the end of season 2005/06 he had made 26+0 Premiership appearances for Latics. He was also in the team that competed in the Carling Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium. He was released by the club along with David Thompson on 10th May 2006 and returned to one of his former clubs, Blackburn Rovers, on 8th September 2006. He is currently (May 2011) out of the game and attempting to qualify for his coaching badges.

DOB: 13th April 1994
Other clubs: Universidad de Chile, Manchester Unuted
Honours: Chile Under 15’s (4 caps, 2 goals)
Chile Under 17’s (4 caps, 3 goals)
Chile Under 20’s (10 caps, 14 goals)
Chile (1 cap, 1 goal)

Angelo was signed on loan from Manchester United on 2nd January 2013 for the remainder of season 201213. He was needed as cover for striker Arouna Kone who was on African Cup of Nations duty.  In signing for the club Angelo missed out on playing further games for Chile as his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson preferred him to carry on learning his trade in the Premier League.  His first game for the club came on 5th January 2013 in a FA Cup third round game against AFC Bournemouth trhat resulted in a 1-1 draw.

DOB: 27th May 1971
Other clubs: Utrecht, AZ Alkmaar, Hapoel Kfar Saba, Cambuur Leeuwarden, ADO’20 Heemskerk

The Dutch left-winger made a name for himself at FC Utrecht and AZ Alkmaar. He played 81 League games over five seasons for Utrecht and scored 10 League goals. At AZ Alkmaar he played 31 League games in two seasons and scored just once. He arrived in Britain during the pre season of 2000/01 and had trials with Barnsley, Heart of Midlothian, Dunfermline and trained with Clydebank. He played just one Reserve game for Latics and did enough to impress Bruce Rioch on just that showing.

He signed a three-month contract at the JJB Stadium on 2nd November 2000 and was a free transfer signing. He never played a League game for the cl

ub and only appeared in the first team for the FA Cup first round home game against Dorchester Town. He left the club by mutual consent on 19th December 2000.

DOB: 11th January 1978
Other clubs: Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Newcastle Jets
Honours: England Under 18’s (8 caps, 5 goals),
England Under 21’s (17 caps, 6 goals),
England B (1 cap, 1 goal),
England (62 caps 7 goals),
League Cup winner 1997 (Leicester City),
League Cup winner 2000 (Leicester City),
League Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool),
FA Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool),
UEFA Cup winner 2001 (Liverpool),
Charity Shield winner 2002 (Liverpool),
European Super Cup winner 2002 (Liverpool).

Emile became the costliest player in the history of the club on 7th July 2006 when manager Paul Jewell paid Birmingham City £5.500.000 for his services. The former England striker signed a three year deal at the JJB Stadium. His first game for Latics was against Iranian giants Perspolis Tehran on 25th July 2006 in an Austrian training camp game which Latics won 4-2 and he scored one of the goals. He made his Latics Premiership debut on 19th August 2006 against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, with Latics going down 1-2. He finished the season as Latics’ top goal scorer with eight goals to his credit in 33+1 Premiership appearances.

On 8th September 2007 he once again played for England, three years after earning his previous cap. He starred in a 3-0 victory over Israel at Wembley in a Euro 2008 qualifier. Four days later he also played against Russia at Wembley in another 3-0 victory! He then became an England regular and his career at the JJB Stadium flourished.

In the winter transfer window of 2009 he was transferred to Aston Villa for a fee of £3.500.000 after making 80+2 Premier League appearances, during which he netted sixteen times. Emile represented England in the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa whilst with the Villans and returned to Wigan in the summer of 2012, but only to train with the squad at Christopher Park after being released by Villa.

He is currently (October 2012) plying his trade in Australia with the Newcastle Jets.

DOB: 6th April 1965
Other clubs: Manchester City, Chester City, Rochdale, Preston North End, Cambridge United, Blackburn Rovers, Halifax Town, Blackpool, Southport, East Fife, Montrose

Ronnie arrived at Springfield Park from Blackburn Rovers for the start of the 1990/91 season. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the season, 25th August 1990. The game was against Mansfield Town at Springfield Park and resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues. He played the following game against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park and was injured during the course of the 3-4 defeat. He wasn’t to play for the Blues again until 29th December 1990 in a 2-4 home defeat against Swansea City. He made what turned out to be his last appearance for the Blues on 3rd February 1991 against Fulham at Springfield Park, a game that resulted in a 2-0 victory for Latics. By the end of the season he was signed by Halifax Town.

DOB: 20th August 1960
Other clubs: Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Altrincham, Mossley, Fleetwood Town

Mark was signed by Ray Mathias from his old club Tranmere Rovers for the start of the 1986/87 season. He made his Latics League debut when he substituted Paul Cook in an away game against Bristol City on 6th September 1986. The Blues lost the game 1-2. His first season at the club was beset by injury problems but he still managed to score 8 League goals in 21+7 League appearances.

In fact, he suffered more than his fair share of injury setbacks whilst at the club but by the end of each season he was usually in the top four goal scorers charts. He stayed at Springfield Park until the end of season 1989/90 when he re joined his old club Rochdale. In total he made 89+14 League appearances for the Blues and he scored 26 League goals.

DOB: 3rd December 1955
Other clubs: Everton, Aston Villa, South Liverpool, Sunderland, Preston North End, Gillingham, Wrexham, Chesterfield, Chester City, Chester City (assistant manager and physio), Wigan Athletic (asst man), Rochdale (asst man), Bury (asst man), Shrewsbury Town (physio), Accrington Stanley (physio)

Joe arrived at Springfield Park in August 1975 for a fee of £1,200 from South Liverpool. He had difficulty settling at Springfield Park and was put on the transfer list during his second season at the club. Things were so bad that at one stage he was banned from the ground. However, after a ‘clear the air chat’ with manager Ian McNeill he was recalled from the reserve team and scored the winning goal in the Lancashire Junior Cup Final against Chorley at the end of season 1976/77 and he never looked back.

He played 119+1 Northern Premier League games for the Blues and he scored 8 Northern Premier League goals before Latics were elected into the Football League. He made his Latics League debut on 19th August 1978 against Hereford United at Edgar Street in the Blues’ first ever Football League game which resulted in a 0-0 draw. Joe is in the Latics history books as scoring Latics’ first ever Football League goal and he did this on 2nd September 1978 against Newport County at Springfield Park. It wasn’t too long before the ‘big boys’ were alerted about Joe and it came as no surprise when he left the club to join Sunderland for a then club record incoming transfer fee of £130,000 in February 1980. He made a total of 66 League appearances for the Blues during which he scored 10 League goals.

He finished his football career at Chester City before becoming the clubs physio, and later assistant manager. He returned to Soringfield Park as assistant to Graham Barrow in September 1994, before following him to Rochdale and Bury. He is currently (May  2011) the physio for Accrington Stanley following a spell at Shrewsbury Town in a similar capacity.

DOB: 14th September 1962
Other clubs: Chester City, Oldham Athletic
Honours: Wales Under 21’s (1 cap), Wales, (1 cap), Second Division Championship winner 1991 (Oldham Athleti


Andy was signed by Ray Mathias for a fee of £40,000 from Chester City in October 1986. He was already a Welsh International when he made his Latics League debut on 1st November 1986 against Carlisle United in a home game which the Blues won 2-0. He had made 11 League appearances and had scored 1 League goal before he was injured in the last home game of February 1987 against Rotherham United. He finally returned to first team action seven months later before being laid low with another injury after just a further 14+1 League games during season 1987/88.

His performances for the Blues from the start of the following League campaign resulted in Oldham Athletic manager Joe Royle paying £150,000 for his services in January 1989. In total Andy made 48+1 League appearances for the Blues scoring 4 League goals in the process.

DOB: 22nd August 1972
Other clubs: Liverpool, Knowsley United, Fleetwood Town, Ashton United, Accrington Stanley, Lancaster City, Marine

Steve was signed on a non contract basis by Kenny Swain from Liverpool after impressing in the Reds youth team. Things didn’t work out too well for Steve at Springfield Park and he only appeared on the first team scene once. He made his Latics League debut as a substitute for John Robertson on the opening day of season 1993/94. The game was against Scunthorpe United and the Blues were beaten 0-2.

He appeared mostly in the Reserves and was probably unique that whilst playing for Latics he was also playing for Fleetwood Town at the same time. During the pre season of 1994/95 Steve played a friendly for the Blues against Nantwich Town on 19th July, then for Fleetwood against Latics two days later, before playing for Latics again against Preston North three days after that! He was released at the end of that season.

Some Steve Hollis trivia – did you know that Steve was on the Liverpool bench for a UEFA Cup tie at Swarovski Tirol in November 1991?

DOB: 1st November 1973
Other clubs: Worsbrough Bridge MW, Scarborough, Guisley Town, Witton Albion, Halifax Town, Fulham, Birmingham, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Leicester City, Scunthorpe United, Chesterfield, Lincoln City, Port Vale (asst manager)
Honours, Football Conference Championship winner 1998 (Halifax Town)
Second Division Championship winner 1999 (Fulham)
First Division Play off winner 2002 (Birmingham City)

Geoff was a £1,000,000 signing from Birmingham City on 5th September 2003. The club paid Birmingham City £500,000 up front with the remainder of the fee to be paid depending on League appearances. His arrival at the JJB Stadium ended a four month long search for a striker following the Blues’ failure to land five previous targets. He made his Latics League debut on 13th September 2003 against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park and Latics ran out 4-2 winners with Geoff scoring one of the goals in the 4-2 victory that ensured Latics were second from the top of the First Division at the end of the afternoon.

In his next game, he scored the winner in a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the JJB Stadium. The victory ensured Latics made history by reaching the top of the First Division for the first time since becoming a Football League team in 1978. However, within three months Geoff was gone, transferred to First Division rivals West Bromwich Albion in a shock £1,000,000 deal on Thursday 18th December 2003. In total he made 17 League appearances for the club, scoring 7 League goals. Geoff was forced to take a break from the game in October 2008 after developing testicular cancer during trials with Walsall. By 2nd January 2009, he signed a short term deal with Lincoln City and he is currently (January 2011) the player/assistant manager of Port Vale

DOB: 30th November 1954
Other clubs: Prescot Town, South Liverpool, Preston North End, Carlisle United, Wrexham, Chester City, Runcorn, Warrington Town
Honours: Mid Cheshire League Championship winner (Prescot Town), Lancashire Junior Cup winner 1978 (Wigan Athletic)
Honours: Mid-Cheshire League championship winner 1977 (Prescot Town)
Lancashire Junior Cup winner 1978 (Wigan Athletic)

Peter was signed by Ian McNeill, along with Peter Wilkey, in February 1978 and made his Latics Northern Premier League debut against Worksop Town at Springfield Park on 27th February 1978 in a game Latics won 3-0. He goes down in Latics folklore as the scorer of Latics’ last Non League goal on the last day of the 1976/77 season against Matlock Town a game that resulted in a 1-0 victory. He was also one of the goal scorers when Latics won their last ever piece of non league silverware. It was goals from Peter and the legendary Micky Worswick that won the Lancashire Junior Cup for Latics at Springfield Park against Auld Enemy Chorley. During that historic season he played 15+ 2 Northern Premier League games for the Blues scoring 9 goals on the process.

He made his Latics League debut on 19th August 1978 in Latics’ first ever League game at Edgar Street that resulted in a 0-0 draw, and Peter ‘scored’ on the day only for the ‘goal’ to be disallowed. By the time he was transferred to Preston North End on 8th March 1984 he had made 169+16 League appearances for Latics and he was also the proud owner of a club record 62 goals scored in Football League fixtures. A record only bettered by David Lowe and Andy Liddell to date (June 2010).

DOB: 24th February 1960
Other clubs: Preston North End, Burnley, Carlisle United, Northwich Victoria

Graham was nearing the end of his career when Ray Mathias signed him from Burnley for the start of season 1986/87. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the season, 23rd August 1986. The game was against Notts County at Meadow Lane and resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues. Graham himself was substituted after picking up an injury and he was to make only 16+1 League ap

pearances, scoring 4 League goals in a injury hit season before being released at the end of the campaign.

DOB: 19th November 1964
Other clubs: Manchester United, Leeds United, Bury, Rochdale, Scarborough, Guisley Town, Pontefract Colliery, Leeds United (gk coach), Grimsby Town (gk coach), Burnley (gk coach), Burnley (caretaker manager), Bolton Wanderers (gk coach)
Honours: Northern Ireland, (3 caps)

Phil, the only Latics goalkeeper to ever save a penalty at Wembley, arrived at Springfield Park amid a goalkeeper crisis. Signed for a fee of £3.000 from Bury, where he was future Latic Simon Farnworth’s understudy, on 1st November 1987 he became the fourth goalkeeper used by the club in just three months. This was because Roy Tunks and Nigel Adkins were injured whilst loanee goalkeeper David Redfearn was finishing a stint at the club.

He made his Latics League debut on 3rd November 1987 against Chesterfield at Saltergate in a game that the Blues won 1-0. He was at the club until the end of the 1990/91 season at the end of which he signed for Rochdale. In total he played 99 League games for the Blues. Oh, and the penalty was saved during the Mercantile Credit Centenary celebrations in 1988!

He is currently (January 2012) the goalkeeping coach at local rivals Bolton Wanderers.

DOB: 19th June 1953
Other clubs: Montrose, Dundee, Hibernian, Tranmere Rovers, Mansfield Town, Bristol City, Walsall, Blackpool, Carlisle United
Honours: Freight Rover Trophy winner 1986 (Bristol City)

Bobby, who was originally spotted playing for the Aberdeen Lads Club, was a very popular signing from Hibernian in July 1980. He was well admired for his competitive style of play. He made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the 1980/81 season against Hartlepool United at Springfield Park.

The game was played on 16th August and resulted in a 0-3 loss for the Blues. He was sold to Tranmere Rovers at the end of his only season at Springfield Park during which he played 34+1 League games, scoring 3 League goals in the process.

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