PAUL GARDNER – IAN GRIFFITHS
DOB: 22nd September 1957
Other clubs: Blackpool, Bury, Swansea City, Chorley
Paul, a former England youth international, was a non contract signing from Bury and he made his Latics League debut on 2nd February 1984. The game was against York City played at Bootham Crescent and resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues. He made 5 League appearances for the Blues without scoring. His record whilst at Springfield Park was an unenviable one because Latics never won a game whilst he played for us! He finished his professional career at Springfield Park before drifting into the non league scene, playing for among others, Latics’ Auld Enemy from non league days, Chorley.
A bit of Paul Gardner trivia – did you know that it was former Latics manager Allan Brown who signed Paul for his first club, Blackpool?
DOB: 22nd November 1969
Other clubs: Tranmere Rovers, Oldham Athletic, Chester City, Preston North End, Swansea City, Halifax Town, Morecambe, Harrogate Town
Honours: Leyland Daf Cup Final winner 1990 (Tranmere Rovers)
Third Division Play Off Final winner 1991 (Tranmere Rovers)
Dave Philpotts signed Shaun on loan from Tranmere on 26th February 1993. He made his Latics League debut on 27th February 1993 against Brighton and Hove Albion at Springfield Park which resulted in a 1-2 defeat for the Blues. He made 13+0 League appearances for Latics before returning to Tranmere Rovers immediately after Latics suffered a crushing 1-5 League defeat against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on 24th April 1993.
The result almost guaranteed Latics’ first ever relegation. Shaun was in the Oldham Athletic side that dished out Latics’ first ever League defeat at the JJB Stadium on 7th January 2000. He is still involved in the game and is currently (September 2012) the manager of Tranmere Rovers’ youth team.
DOB: 5th June 1967
Other clubs: Hanwell Town, Gillingham, Leicester City, Northampton Town, Peterborough United, Farnborough Town, Hayes United.
Pat who scored on his Gillingham debut against Latics in March 1989 was signed by Kenny Swain. from Northampton on a free transfer for the start of season 1993/94. He made his Latics League debut on 14th August 1993, the opening day of the season. The game was against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park and resulted in a 0-2 defeat for Latics Pat, who spent two seasons at Springfield Park made a total of 37+5 League appearances for the Blues in which time he scored 8 League goals.
He then plied his trade in non league circles before returning to his first club Hanwell Town in 2005. He was last heard of (by the author) in February 2007 when he was dismissed as joint manager of Hanwell Town.
DOB: 4th February 1957
Other clubs: Bolton Wanderers, Exeter City, Southport, Macclesfield Town, Bangor City, Crewe Alexandra, Droylesden, Mossley, Chorley, Horwich RMI
Geoff was a member of Fred Eyre’s reserve team when Latics were elected into the Football in 1978. He arrived at the club from Southport, who Latics had replaced in the Football League, and it was in that historic season that he made he made his Latics League debut.
His appearance on 23rd August 1978 however was the only time that he appeared in a first team fixture. The game itself was against Grimsby Town, Latics’ first ever Football League opponents in a home encounter which the Mariners won 3-0. He was released at the end of the season.
DOB: 24th March 1947
Other clubs: St Mirren, Preston North End, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City, Jacksonville Teamen, Nottingham Forest (first team coach), Rotherham United (joint manager)
Honours: Scotland Under 23’s (1 cap),
Scotland (43 caps, 8 goals)
First Division Championship winner 1972, 1975 (Derby County)
Charity Shield winner 1975 (Derby County)
First Division Championship winner 1978 (Nottingham Forest)
European Cup winner 1978 (Nottingham Forest)
Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1996 (Rotherham United (as manager)
Legend has it that Brian Clough was so keen to sign Archie for Derby County that he slept in Gemmill’s house to obtain his services for the Rams! His faith in the player was certainly justified as he became a football legend. After a glittering career Larry Lloyd signed Archie on a match to match basis in September 1982 following Archie’s stint in America with the Jacksonville Teamen. He made his Latics League debut on 25th September 1982 against Chesterfield at Saltergate, a game that resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues.
He played 11 consecutive League games without scoring before signing for his former club Derby County in November 1982. He is currently (July 2012) joint manager of the Scotland Under 19’s team.
A bit of Archie Gemmill trivia – did you know that on 13th August 1966 Archie became the first ever official substitute in the history of Scottish football? The game was a Scottish League Cup tie against Clyde at the Shawfield Stadium and the player he replaced was Jim Clunie. Also – did you know that in 2006 he was sacked on his first day of work for the Scottish whiskey company, Whyte and Mackay, when at his press launch to notify everybody of his new status, he called journalists, ‘a set of c—s’?
DOB: 18th February 1975
Other Clubs: Manchester United, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, Sheffield United, Charlton Athletic, Bradford City, Glentoran, Darlington, Longford Town
Honours: Northern Ireland Under 21’s (1 cap),
Northern Ireland, (86 caps, 2 goals)
Football League Cup winner 2002 (Blackburn Rovers)
Irish League Cup winner 2010 (Glentoran)
Keith originally arrived at Springfield Park on loan from Manchester United on 3rd September 1993 and he made his Latics League debut the following day against Doncaster Rovers at Belle Vue and Latics lost the game 1-3. During his stay at Latics he played 8 League games and scored 4 League goals including a memorable brace against Chester City at Springfield Park on 2nd October 1993 which Latics won 6-2. He finally left Old Trafford on 12th January 1995 when Newcastle United paid £1,000,000 for his services. Kevin Keegan was the Magpies manager at the time and Keith came as part of the deal that took Andy Cole to Old Trafford. Keegan later insisted that if Keith hadn’t gone to Newcastle then Cole would not have been sold.
His stay at St James’ Park was phenomenal and in his three years with the Magpies he made 113 League appearances and scored 11 League goals. It came as something of a shock when Blackburn Rovers signed him for £2,350,000 on 16th December 1998. He made 42 League appearances and scored 3 League goals at Ewood Park up until September 2000 by which time he found himself out of favour with Rovers’ manager Graeme Souness and Bruce Rioch was alerted to the fact.
On 1st December 2000 Latics signed him on a month’s loan and so Keith began his second stint at the club. He made his second Latics debut on 3rd December 2000 in a 2-2 draw against Brentford at Griffin Park. He made just 5 League appearances for the Blues without scoring before returning to Blackburn on New Years Day 2001.
Keith is currently (September 2012) playing for League of Ireland First Division outfit Longford Town.
A bit of Keith Gillespie trivia – did you know that Keith played for Sheffield United in that historic game at Bramall Lane on the last day of the 2006/07 Premiership season when Latics beat the Blades to stay in the top flight, whilst at the same time relegating the Blades from it.
DOB: 24th November 1948
Other clubs: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Mansfield Town
Ian arrived at Springfield Park on the recommendation of Arsenal manager Bertie Mee. He was a regular at reserve level for the Gunners and despite two loan moves whilst at Highbury he failed to make the grade at Football League level. The manager at Latics at the time was Alan Saunders and Ian was plunged straight into the first team at Springfield Park, making his debut on 24th April 1968 against Rhyl and during the club’s Non League days he played 3 Cheshire League games without scoring and 412 Northern Premier League games in which he netted 4 times.
Football League status for the Blues came a bit too late for ‘Gilly’ but he did make his Latics League debut on 19th August 1978 in Latics’ first ever Football League game against Hereford United at Edgar Street. He was the captain of the side that drew 0-0 on the day, the tears in his eyes as he led the team onto the pitch for that historic game will live long in the memory of every Latics fan present that day. He was only to play 7 League games without scoring during his Latics Football League career but he couldn’t be parted from his beloved Latics and stayed on to coach the reserves, passing on to the young lads some of the footballing knowledge that he accrued after making a club record 661 first team appearances, which included an unbroken sequence of 184 games on the spin!
Ian stayed with the club until 1984 before deciding to become the manager of the old Robin Park sports complex. He died tragically, during a charity cricket match involving his team Lower Darwen. (for which he was the opening batsman) in 1989. RIP GILLY.
A bit of Ian Gillibrand trivia – did you know that nobody else in the history of the club played in as many different ‘leagues’ as Gilly. He played in the Cheshire League, the Northern Premier League and the old Fourth Division of the Football League!
DOB: 30th November 1962
Other clubs: Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Chester City, Blacktown City Demons, Fleetwood Town, Chorley
David, who was Latics’ first ever apprentice, also represented the town of Wigan playing Rugby League at schoolboy level. He wrote to the club during their first season as a Football League club asking if he could train with the team and he impressed Ian McNeill enough to secure the deal by the start of the following season. He made his Latics League debut on 8th September 1980 against Port Vale at Springfield Park in a game that Latics won 1-0. In total he made 68+4 League appearances for the Blues during which he scored 4 League goals.
He left Springfield Park to sign for Blackburn Rovers at the start of the 1983/84 season and it was there that he suffered the injury that was to eventually end his professional career years later at Chester City. He then spent two seasons playing in Australia with another ex Latic, John Lowey, before finishing his career at non league level with Chorley and Fleetwood. He is currently (June 2010) employed as a financial consultant.
DOB: 8th February 1981
Other clubs: Paris St Germain, Bnei Yehuda, Yverdon-Sport, Bologna, FC Vaduz, Young Boys, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Honours: Ivory Coast (13 caps, 3 goals)
Steve was signed by Roberto Martinez on 12th January 2010 on a free transfer until the end of the season. He had impressed during a short trial at the club after being released by Borussia Mönchengladbach the previous month. He played his first game for the Blues in a FA Cup fourth round game against Notts County at Meadow Lane on 23rd January 2010. He was a 46th minute substitute for Antonio Amaya and the game resulted in a 2-2 draw.
He made his Premier League debut on the 29th March 2010 in a 0-3 defeat against Manchester City at Eastlands. After making a further three appearances, during which he shone, he signed a two-year deal with the club on 7th May 2010.
As at the end of season 2011/2012 he had made 38+4 Premier League appearances and scored twice. He was released at the end of the campaign and signed for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
DOB, 24 May 1985
Other clubs, Barcelona B, Espanyol B, Espanyol, Swansea City
Honours, Spain Under 17’s (1 cap)
The former Soain Under 17 international was signed by Roberto Martinez for a fee of £1.700.00 from Spanish outfit Espanyol on 18th June 2009. He had played under Martinez the previous season at Swansea City and had no hesitation in signing a three year deal at the DW Stadium. He made his Premier League debut on the opening day of season 2009/10 against Aston Villa at Villa Park on 15th August 2009. Latics ran out convincing 2-0 winners.
He failed to make the impact expected of him and became something of a whipping boy during the season which finished with him making 11+12 Premier League appearances and scoring one goal. Things didn’t improve much for him during the following 2010/11 season. He gradually started performing better and became a more prominent member of the team during the following season, signing a contract extension in February 2012.
As at the end of season 2011/12 he had made 44+20 Premier League appearances, scoring seven times.
DOB: 26 November, 1953
Other clubs: Tranmere Rovers, Dallas Tornadoes, Bury, Port Vale
Tommy, who started his career at Tranmere Rovers when he moved to Prenton Park in the same deal that took Liverpool legend Ron Yeats in the same direction , joined Latics on loan towards the end of the 1973/74 season. During the five years before Latics gained Football League status he played 184+1 Northern Premier League games and scored 27 League goals as well. He made his Latics League debut in the first ever Football League the Blues competed in, against Hereford United at Edgar Street. The game resulted in a 0-0 draw and that season Tommy was an ever present along with Jeff Wright and Ian Purdie.
He stayed at Springfield Park until October 1980 when, after a fall out with manager Ian McNeill, he was transferred to Bury. He had played 102 consecutive League games, since the Blues’ first ever Football League encounter, during which he had scored 14 League goals before his move to Gigg Lane. His career came to an end following a neck injury ten months after signing for his last professional club, Port Vale.
He was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 1979, the first time the award had been given to a Wigan Athletic Football League player. He is also currently (March 2011) treasurer of the Wigan Athletic Past Players Association.
DOB: 16 April, 1985
Other clubs: Helsingborgs IF, Groningen, Genoa
Honours: Sweden Under 21’s (2 caps),
Sweden (20 caps, 2 goals)
Swedish FA Cup winner 2005 (Helsingborgs)
Andreas was signed by Paul Jewell from Helsingborgs IF on 27th December 2006, initially on a six months long loan deal. He beat Liverpool and Bayern Munich to his signature and the 6ft 3 ins central defender made his Latics debut in a third round FA Cup game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 6th January 2007. Sadly the game resulted in a 1-2 defeat. He never played a Premiership game that season for the Blues and returned to home to Sweden at the end of the campaign.
However, new manager Chris Hutchings did sign him on a two-year deal from Helsingborgs IF on 19th June 2007 for a fee of £750.000. He eventually made his Premiership debut on the opening day of the 2007/08 season, 11th August 2007, against Everton at Goodison Park, a game that Latics lost 2-1.
After making just 16+1 Premiership appearances for the club he was loaned back to Helsingborgs IF in January 2008 until the end of season 2007/08. He left the club on Wednesday 9th July 2008 when he signed a four year deal with Groningen for which the Blues received £600,000.
He currently (July 2012) plies his trade with Italian outfit Genoa.
DOB: 28 January, 1970
Other clubs: Luton Town
Paul was signed from Luton Town during the pre season of 1991/92 from Luton Town. He had played for Northern Ireland at ever level except with the seniors and was hoping that his move to Springfield Park would culminate with his dream of playing for his country. He had turned down the chance of signing for both Exeter City and Birmingham City before plumping for the move to Springfield Park.
He made his Latics League debut against Shrewsbury Town on 18th August 1991, the opening day of the season. The game was played at Gay Meadow and he played as a substitute during the 0-1 defeat. However after just a further 3 League games he was injured against Hartlepool United at the Victoria Ground during a 3-4 defeat and his career was ended. It total he made 2+3 League appearances before being released.
DOB: 6th October 1978
Other clubs: Rangers, Dunfermline, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Torquay United, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, Gillingham, Lincoln City, Sheffield FC, Ilkeston Town, Worksop Town, Hucknall Town
Honours: Scotland Under 21’s (8 caps)
David was signed for £215,000 from Torquay United on 16th June 2004. He replaced the departed Andy Liddell and the Blues won his services despite strong interest from League Championship rivals Leeds United. He signed a three-year deal and there was a substantial sell on clause in his contract. He made his Latics League debut on 7th August 2004, the opening day of the new League Championship, in a home game against Nottingham Forest, coming onto the field as a substitute for Nathan Ellington. The game resulted in a 1-1 draw. By the end of season he had made 13+18 League appearances and scored 1 League goal. David goes down in Latics folklore as a member of the squad that took Latics into the Premiership for the first time in the club’s history.
He was sold just three days before Latics’ Premiership bow, 11th August 2005, for a fee of £350,000 to League One outfit Sheffield Wednesday. £100,000 of the fee was spent on the return of Arjan De Zeeuw earlier in the day. He has since had loan spells at Huddersfield Town, Bradford City and Torquay United as well as a six month stint at Lincoln City.
He is currently (July 2012) plying his trade for the third time at Sheffield FC.
DOB: 15th January 1970
Other clubs: Derby County, Auran Pollo (Finland), Bolton Wanderers, Wrexham, Telford United, Ashton Town
Honours: Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1999 (Wigan Athletic), Second Division Championship winner 2003 (Wigan Athletic)
John Deehan brought Scott to Springfield Park on 30th June 1997 for £300,000. In the same deal his Burnden Park team mate David Lee also joined Latics for £250,000. He made his Latics debut on 9th August 1997 against Wycombe Wanderers at Springfield Park along with Brendan O’Connell (who scored a hat trick!), Charlie Bishop and David Lee. The game was won 5-3 and Scott was one of the goals corers He was one of nine players out of contract after the Wembley Play-off Final defeat against Gillingham at Wembley at the end of the 1999/2000 season and he was offered another one.
However, he refused to sign it until the appointment of a new manager following John Benson’s decision to quit the post. Sheffield United were believed to be waiting in the wings. The appointment of Bruce Rioch as the Blues’ new gaffer (his old manager at Bolton Wanderers) and the promise of a three-year contract, kept him at the JJB Stadium. By the end of season 2001/02 he had made 163+19 League appearances and scored 8 League goals. To date (Juy 2011) he is running the Yeovil Town Centre of Excellence.
A little Scott Green trivia – did you know that he played under FIVE managers during his time at the club?
DOB: 30th December 1963
Other clubs: Blackpool, Gillingham, Oxford United, Bury, Preston North End, Chester City, Lincoln City, Rossendale United, Rochdale (youth coach)
Honours: Third Division Championship winner 1997 (Wigan Athletic)
Auto Windscreens Shield winner 1999 (Wigan Athletic)
Colin, a former England Youth International, was signed for Latics in a £45,000 deal on 18th September 1995 by Graham Barrow. He made his League debut on 23rd September 1995 at Springfield Park against Plymouth Argyle in a game that resulted in a 0-1 defeat. During the campaign he made 37 League appearances and scored twice. The following 1996/97 season saw Colin an ever present in the side that won the Third Division Championship. He scored once in his 46 League games. In season 1997/98 he made 39 League appearances and scored 4 League goals. In the last season at Springfield Park he made 42 League appearances and scored 6 goals as Latics lost out in the Play-offs for a First Division place when Latics were cruelly beaten by Manchester City in the Semi-final.
By the end of the league campaign he was awarded the Player of the Year Award, a remarkable achievement as he combined first team duties with those of being the Reserve team manager as well.
He reluctantly hung up his boots at the end of the season. During Latics’ first season at the JJB Stadium (1999/00) he became the first team coach, after stepping up from coaching the Reserve team and he even found himself on the subs bench during an injury crisis towards the end of the season. The game was against Brentford at Griffin Park and he was dying to get on to the field of play! However he wasn’t needed.
Colin’s Latics career was far from over however and on 27th February 2001 he found himself in the position of caretaker/manager. This followed the resignation of Bruce Rioch who had spent just seven months in the JJB Stadium hot seat.
He became the second former Latics Football League player who had also managed the club, following in the footsteps of Graham Barrow. When Colin took over the team was in fourth place in Division Two and his first game in charge was against Swindon Town on 3rd March 2001 in a League encounter that resulted in a 0-0 draw. However, after just six matches in charge which consisted of four draws, one defeat and a single victory he was replaced as manager by ex Manchester United legend Steve Bruce on 4th April 2001. Ironically he was replaced after his only victory which occurred in his last game in charge against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park on 31st March 2001, the result was 2-1.
Colin’s association with the club ended on Friday 2nd November 2001 when he was dismissed from his duties as first team coach. His colleague, Brendan O’Connell was also dismissed as the Reserve team coach on the same day. Manager Paul Jewell had also dismissed three Latics players the previous week. On Saturday 10th November 2001 he made his Non League debut when he played for Uni Bond First Division side Rossendale United against Lincoln United. His former Latics colleague Brendan O’Connell did likewise!
He is currently (July 2012) the Football Director at the Lancashire FA and he has also featured in the Wigan Athletic Grand Masters team.
DOB: 15th February 1958
Other clubs: West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City, Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town, Fulham, Derby County, Port Vale, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City,
Stafford Rangers, Hednesford Town, Port Vale (asst manager), Port Vale (caretaker manager)
Honours: Third Division Play Off Final winner 1989 (Port Vale)
Third Division Championship winner 1993 Cardiff City
Mark arrived at Springfield Park following an injury sustained by John Brown in a League game against Darlington at Belle Vue in which Noel Ward had to deputise between the sticks for an hour. There were visions of the flu struck Noel Ward having to become the goalkeeper for the following League encounter against Halifax Town at the Shay on 16th December 1978 as well, but at the last minute manager Ian McNeill had secured the services of West Bromwich Albion shot stopper Mark and he made his Latics League debut for that game. In doing so he became the first Latics goalkeeper to leave the field with a victory on his League debut for the club when the Blues won 2-1. He played for 4 consecutive League games before returning to the Hawthorns following the return of John Brown.
His career since those days has been wide and varied. He has taken in stints at Leicester City, Oldham Athletic, Ipswich Town, Fulham, Derby County, Port Vale, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City, Stafford Rangers and Hednesford Town and then he embarked on a career in the coaching side of the game.
He spent eight years as a youth coach at Port Vale working up to the position of caretaker manager in 1999 before his dismissal in 2002. He was hastily brought back to the club though and since then he has been caretaker manager on three occasions, the latest being on 22nd March 2011.
DOB: 26 January, 1965
Other clubs: St Helens Town, Blackpool, Scarborough, Telford United, Southport
er 1988 against Northampton Town at Springfield Park. It wasn’t the greatest of starts to his Latics career as he was substituted during the match which Latics lost 1-3. He played a total of 176+13 League games for Latics during which he scored 44 League goals. Not a bad return for a winger.
He left Springfield Park in the summer of 1993 to join Blackpool. After a short loan spell at Scarborough he drifted into non league football and finished his career from where it all started, St Helens Town.
DOB: 10 April, 1970
Other clubs: Rhyl Athletic, Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale, Northwich Victoria
Gareth signed for Latics on 27th June 1998. John Deehan had signed him before he himself left the club to join Steve Bruce as assistant manager at Sheffield United just a couple of days later. Gareth joined his former Port Vale team mate Andy Porter at Springfield Park and he made 20+0 League appearances without scoring during that last ever season at Springfield Park. He made his Latics League debut, along with Leigh Jenkinson, for the Blues on 8th August 1998 against Millwall at Springfield Park in a game that was won 1-0 by the Londoners. He suffered from a nasty knee injury for most of the season and was hoping for better luck at the JJB Stadium.
His luck didn’t improve and he spent most of the season out of action through injury. However when he did recover fitness he played very well indeed and he made 16+0 League appearances and scored 1 League goal by the end of that historic season. By 21st May 2001 he found himself surplus to requirements along with Roberto Martinez, Stuart Balmer, Gino Padula, Darren Sheridan, Peter Beagrie and Carl Bradshaw.
He joined Rochdale on 2nd July 2001 and in total played 36+0 League games for the Blues during which he scored once. On 2nd June 2006 he joined the non league ranks, signing for Northwich Victoria after being released by Rochdale after five seasons at Spotland. He has now retired from playing and is currently (May 2011) on the Management Committee of the PFA. Whilst playing he obtained a first class honours degree, a post graduate marketing certificate and qualified as a financial consultant.
DOB: 17th April 1960
Other clubs: Tranmere Rovers, Rochdale, Port Vale, Mazda Hiroshima, Wrexham, Rhyl Athletic
Ian arrived at Springfield Park for the beginning of the 1985/86 season from Port Vale and he made his Latics League debut on the opening day of the 1985/86 season, 17th August 1985. The game was against Swansea City at the Vetch Field and this was a significant match in Latics’ history as it was the first one that the club had ever won on the opening day of a Football league season. The game was won 1-0 with Graham Barrow doing the honours by scoring.
After making 68+1 League appearances and scoring 7 League goals he left the club at the end of season 1986/87 and spent a season in Japan. He returned to Springfield Park for the start of the 1990/91 season and made his second Latics League debut on the opening day of that season, 25th August 1990, against Mansfield Town at Springfield Park. The game resulted in a 0-2 defeat for the Blues. He played a further 6+5 League games for the club without scoring before he signed for Wrexham in exchange for Gary Worthington in the summer of 1991.
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