With all the talk of the Stadium being signed over to Latics and a possibility of a Stand being named after a rugby ‘legend’, we as true fans need to demand that a piece of Latics history be remembered.
Our friends over at YOTAC (Ye Olde Tree and Crown) have started the ball rolling for a stand to be named after Springfield Park, the ancestral home of Wigan Athletic. As their article explains below, we need to get together and make ourselves heard.
There are some links at the bottom of the piece to place your support….Over here at YOTAC we pride ourselves in telling it like it is, and ninety nine times out of a hundred we can claim to be in touch with most supporters and their feelings. That is why, as from today, we are starting a campaign that will hopefully spread throughout the world wide web courtesy of our friends at other sites, in a joint quest to get the East Stand renamed as the ‘Springfield Park Stand’.
Springfield Park is, and always will be, the ancestral home of Wigan Athletic. Sadly, the old ground is now a housing estate and as time passes by the roots of this great club are being eroded. With news that the soon to be tenants of the DW Stadium, the Wigan Warriors, have been allowed to name a stand after one of their Welsh heroes, surely it is only right that the fans of Wigan Athletic, whose club will shortly be the owners of the stadium, see such a dedication to their past?
Unlike fans of the oval ball code though, the supporters of Wigan Athletic feel that it would be unfair to single out any one person and would instead like a stand named after their former home.
Whilst it is all well and good to name a stand after a club legend, as is the case with Billy Boston, who also played for Blackpool Borough and so wasn’t even a ‘one club’ man,, we feel that any stand should be dedicated to something that really does belong to Wigan and the club, and that is SPRINGFIELD PARK.
Wigan Athletic supporters as a whole tend to be a sentimental lot and have their own personal memories of many, many great players and personalities and couldn’t, hand on heart, agree among themselves on any suitable player for a stand to be named after.
This idea, that is spreading like wildfire, would see EVERYBODY who ever stepped foot in Springfield Park honoured from Joseph Howarth, the club’s first chairman to Stuart Barlow who scored the last competitive Latics goal at the venue. And quite right too!
We are all rightly proud of the DW Stadium and the man who built it who almost singlehandedly ensured that the club finally did achieve its greatest dream, that of competing against the very best and holding our own against them.
We are now asking him to make the ultimate gesture of giving the fans this simple wish. Whilst we will be forever grateful for our new home, it is only right that our former home should be represented within it.
Springfield Park, at one time or another, hosted almost every major sport played in the town and that includes rugby league. Not only did Wigan Warriors spend a season there but Latics also bailed Blackpool Borough, Billy Boston’s old club, out of frightful financial trouble by allowing them to spend time at Springfield Park when the Warriors were unwilling to help them.
It was the home of two Football League clubs, and four others, survived a ravaging fire that destroyed the main stand, and then it was rebuilt by some Latics diehards who still support the club to this day.
It was the home of FA Cup giant killing, and when Latics gained Football League status they didn’t forget their roots and allowed non league clubs to continue using the ground for various cup finals.
And who will forget the awful vandalism when the ground closed its doors for good. Up until now those vandals and the bulldozers can claim victory in ensuring that the memory of Springfield Park is fast fading.
But the fans of today’s club, many of whom saw the main stand at Springfield Park rise like a phoenix from the ashes, want with all their hearts, to see Springfield Park itself rise again by being dedicated and remembered forever at the DW Stadium.
We urge all Latics sites and fans to make this an ongoing project until Springfield Park is rightly remembered as the oldest and proudest sporting ground that the town of Wigan ever saw.
Remember this, and make the club aware that the first recorded game at Springfield Park took place on Wednesday 1st September 1897, between Wigan County and Burton Swifts. The first recorded rugby game at Central Park, erroneously thought of as the home of Wigan sport, arrived five years later.
Yet another reason why Springfield Park should receive the honour that we all crave for. Together, we can achieve this aim, let’s do it.
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