It is coming up to 20 years since we left Springfield Park, home to Wigan Athletic for 67 years and still has a soft spot in the hearts of the older fans at Latics.
Dave Whelan had taken over Wigan Athletic 4 years earlier, with his aim over playing in a new stadium and the Premier League being the dream goal.
We of course went one better and won the FA Cup, not sure if we remember that, but of course we didn’t win it at the Stadium, in fact we only played 1 home match at home in that run, a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth. That was our first game in the competition, we of course went to Macclesfield, Huddersfield, Everton and Millwall (at Wembley Stadium) before beating Manchester City in the Final, again at Wembley.
We have been a thorn in the side of Manchester City, beating them a year later in the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium and again at home at the DW Stadium in 2018. If you can see us beating them again this season and winning the FA Cup take a look at Betfair promotion code for the latest odds on that and all other football markets.
In 2013, the season after we won the FA Cup we recorded our first Europa League win against Maribor, only for the away fixture to confirm our exit from the competition, but what an amazing time for our club.
The stadium was completed in June 1999, with test game against Morecambe preceding the official opening on August 1st, playing the then all conquering Manchester United.
The first game was a 3-0 win against Scunthorpe, which turned out to be the start of the meteoric rise through the Leagues.
Possibly the greatest day at the stadium will be the 8th May 2005 when we beat Reading FC 3-1 to seal our place in the Premier League, fulfilling the dreams of Dave Whelan and all Wigan Athletic fans.
Since then there has been some amazing games at our new home:
The first match in the Premier League against Chelsea, where we really should have got something out the game, Herman Crespo ripping out our hearts with an injury time winner had us starting on a loss.
We have completed a lot of firsts at the stadium, beating Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Possibly one the greatest comebacks was against Arsenal, when in 2010 and with 10 minutes to go we were 2-0 down and looking at an undeserved defeat. Only for a wonder goal in the final seconds from Charles N’Zogbia to complete a 3 goals in 10 minutes master class.
The only comeback that could have been more important was against West Ham United the season after. Again we were 2 goals down in the second half, only for us to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, relegating our visitors in the process.
The official site are running a vote on the memories from the 20 years, but have your say on the message board now. Do you remember the lights going out against Arsenal? Bullard’s antics? there must be plenty more……
We obviously have new owners now, but the story is far from over for us. We could well be back in the top flight soon, maybe even repeat our Cup win. Our future still isn’t written so let’s see what it brings.
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