Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday January 23 2009
Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce today paid tribute to former striker Emile Heskey whom the club have just sold to Aston Villa for a reported fee of £3.5 million.
Heskey joined the Latics in July 2006 from Bruces former club Birmingham City and during his 2 ½ years at the JJB he has been quite inspiring, of the big man Bruce said:
'Emile is one of the best professionals I have ever had the pleasure of managing, and he has certainly helped to put this club on the map in his time here.
'Some supporters may be critical of the club for selling him at this time but the reality is that he was out of contract at the end of the season, and Aston Villa made a substantial offer for him.
'We did what we could to keep him here and but he feels at this time in his career he is ready for a fresh challenge and I respect that decision. He has never been anything less than a complete professional for this club.
'It is my job to make the tough decisions, and I feel that the club of Wigan Athletic were best served by allowing Emile the opportunity to leave for Villa.
'We were not looking to sell him, but the offer came along and in the circumstances, I feel it is too good to turn down.
'Emile is the England centre forward, and it is no wonder he has been on so many clubs' wanted lists.'
'On the plus side, we have confirmed Mido's arrival this afternoon and we're hoping, as everyone knows by now, to conclude the signing of Hugo Rodallega very soon.
'I feel we will be able to cope with Emile leaving, even if a player of his quality is very difficult to replace.'
Thanks for the memories Hesk
Vital Latics - Reporting what Brucie says
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Date:Friday January 23 2009
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