There have been a few members asking about Wigan the place and I thought that because we have so many 'out of town` members now it might be a good idea to put together a little article on Wigan, history and fame.
So where is Wigan?
Wigan is in the North West of England, situated 16 miles west of Manchester and 17 miles east of Liverpool, the town of Wigan has a population of 82,000 with the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan having a population of 350,000 making it the 5th largest Borough in the UK.
Is Wigan an old place or new town?
Wigan became a Borough in 1246 following a charter by King Henry III but there were settlements at Wigan well before this date with evidence of an ancient Celtic tribe, the Brigantes being inhabited on the town site and also a Roman settlement known as Coccium to the Romans.
What does the name Wigan mean?
There is a bit of dispute about the meaning of the name Wigan and indeed the name was recorded as Wicgen at one point in its history.
The most likely is that Wigan is a derivative of the Welsh 'wig hen` which means 'old fort` referring of course to the Roman fort that was on the site and named by the Welsh speaking Brigantes.
Some Famous Wigan People
Richard Ashcroft - The Verve on You Tube
Roy Kinnear (Deceased) - Actor
George Formby (Deceased) - Entertainer George on You Tube
Sir Thomas Beecham of Beechams Powders lived in Wigan
Sir Ian McKellen Gandolf in Lord of the Rings lived in Wigan
Michael Marks met Thomas Spencer in Wigan and started to trade together in the town as Marks and Spencers
How have Wigan Athletic made it to the Premier League?
Wigan Athletic football club were formed in May 1932 at a meeting in the Queens Hall in the town centre, this followed previous club Wigan Borough resigning from the football league in 1931 due to financial problems.
The new club Wigan Athletic bought the Springfield Park ground and started life in the Cheshire League.
In 1953 Wigan Athletic set an attendance record for two non-league sides in a game not at Wembley when 27,526 spectators crammed into Springfield Park for the FA Cup 2nd round tie against Hereford United.
Wigan Athletic battled for admittance to the football league for nearly half a century before they finally got elected in June 1977.
The club stayed in the bottom two divisions of the league for the next 27 years gaining one promotion in 1982 and suffering one relegation in 1993. Promotion 1982
Dave Whelan bought the club in 1995 and stated that he wanted to see Premier League football at Wigan within ten years.
This of course happened, Whelan built a new stadium the JJB, we moved there in 1999 and got promoted to the Championship in 2003 at the end of 2005 season Wigan Athletic made it to the Premier league by finishing runner-up in the Championship and making Whelan`s 10 year plan a accomplished and also making the life time dreams of thousands of Wigan supporters come true.
Some photographs of the town centre