Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday April 4 2008
Wigan Athletic, surprisingly enough, have quite a few connections with Birmingham City and its not just the M6
In the beginning
It was always felt that Birmingham City and their manager the legendary World Cup winner, Sir Alf Ramsey, were responsible, partly for the Latics gaining admission to the football league.
Ramsey gave Latics a fantastic reference to other voting chairmen following the Birmingham Vs Latics FA Cup 3rd round tie in the season 1977/78, Latics lost 4-0 but left a good impression on Ramsey and he championed our cause at the Football Leagues AGM in May 1977, this saw Wigan Athletic elected to the league at the expense of Southport
Steve Bruce and John Benson are two who are connected to both clubs
Current Latics boss Bruce had a short stint in the Latics managers seat following the departure of Colin Greenall and then ended up at Birmingham via Crystal Palace, of course hes now come full circle and back at the JJB
John Benson was Latics manager in 2000 before going to Birmingham to take up general manager duties and subsequently returning to the Latics last season to take up a similar role at the JJB
Whilst at Birmingham Benson recommended Pascal Chimbonda to the Latics and said that we should take a gamble on him, that gamble paid £5 million in dividends when Chimbonda was sold to Spurs, nice one Benno.
Latics and Birmingham have also 'shared` players down the years with a number turning out for both clubs.
Jeff Kenna, Nicky Eaden, Geoff Horsfield, Archie Gemmill, Stuart Storer, our great Kevin Langley, Andy Saville, Leigh Jenkinson, Mark Ward, the irreplaceable Matt Jackson, Mike Newell, Terry Cooke, Mark Burchill and Wigan`s own Peter Atherton
Add to these our current captain Mario Melchiot, star striker Emile Heskey and wonderman Wilson Palacios and you can see that there are a lot of connections on the playing front
Oh and yes we both play in blue
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Date:Friday April 4 2008
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