Indeed, ’tis true. Take a gander at the website of any moderately successful football club and you ‘ll find a whole plethora of other naff items for sale, ranging from the standard mugs and window stickers to the more unusual team branded undercrackers and even flavoured condoms. Probably.
When Uncle Dave decided to cut the vast part of his ties with a certain Wigan-based sports store, it became apparent that, oh crumbs, we had nowhere to stock our licensed crud. Fans had nowhere to go and ask for Latics flasks, calculators and bike pumps (and usually be told they had none in stock, but that ‘s against the point).
We no longer had to fear, for the all-new club shop, in all its pokey side-alley glory, was here to save us. Stocking such items as unsigned Amr Zaki and Antonio Valencia photographs, it truly was a Santa ‘s Grotto for the discerning gadget ‘n ‘ stuff-hungry Laticoholic.
There ‘s one particular item, though, that the shop does not stock – a ‘classic Latics ‘ DVD, a potted history of the club. Yes, there are ‘ten best games at the JJB ‘ and ‘fans ‘ top ten players ‘ DVDs, and these are a step in the right direction.
I read with much interest No1fan ‘s “Are You a Real Fan” article (Mudhutter Football Express 18), and found myself largely agreeing with his comments on the ‘divide ‘ between the ‘old guard ‘ and the club ‘s newer supporters. It is something I have noticed, particularly on certain Latics fan forums and messageboards.
It ‘s rather unfortunate, as those beginning to take a genuine interest in Wigan Athletic are tarred with the same brush as your typical Man U or Bolton supporter dropping into the DW just to cheer on the away team and laugh at the hundreds of empty seats. As far as I can ascertain, this does not happen, at least to such an extent, at other clubs.
The club could go a long way to redressing the balance by paying a bit more attention to the club ‘s history. In his youth, my father was a rugby man, and only ever went to one or two Latics games in the 70s and 80s. My grandfather is a Man City fan, so there ‘s little chance of learning about Wigan ‘s formative years from him.
As a kid, I had to actively scout out books and scrounge match programmes just to learn about this stuff. At the risk of sounding like an old codger, these were the days before the Internet and mobile telephones so all I knew about the likes of Graham Barrow and Peter Houghton came from a couple of grainy mugshots and the occasional report in the Evening Post.
I would have loved some sort of video footage of these guys in their heyday. I understand it would be relatively few and far between, but maybe the guys at Micron Video could cobble something together. Even if it contained predominantly 90s/00s highlights, that would be better than nothing. Heck, if they gave me access to the masters I ‘d probably make one for them for nothing, because we owe it to the new generation of supporters.
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