The Adam and Eve of the Season.
The thoughts and memories of Fazman
A flood of tears and a room full of Mockneys and Spaniards is how I celebrated our promotion to the Premier League.
Before you read this article that worbo has very kindly allowed me to write in the hope that it will cheer you all up from the loss of the player that would of kept us up and our impending doom I think there`s a few things that I need to explain.
I`ve followed Wigan Athletic from being 6 years old when Mexico 86 lit up the summer of a impressionable 6 year old Fazman and I was taken to Springfield Park as a thank you (some days I think it was a curse) for my dad arranging to take a young family friend to see Anfield, have a tour and meet some of the players.
Fast Forward to 2001 and after a couple of jobs you would of found me and a friend running a pub in Leigh and making use of the benefit`s a pub gives to a couple of 21 year olds. If you`ve never been to Leigh it`s very hard to describe and basically it`s like Wigan 20 years ago with more pound shops and more interbreeding. But the best part was it had a smattering of beautiful women, all of which a confident and dare I say it attractive Fazman used to take advantage of.
However all of them also seemed to have boyfriends that hadn`t moved on from being Cavemen so when I had a knife pulled on me a 3rd time, and a stalker that I once gave a free drink to and now had decided she was going to profess her love by singing outside every night, I decided that I had to move on and see a bit of the world.
That`s a brief description of how I found myself being a Holiday Rep all over the world and how like an idiot I found myself watching the most important game of all time in a bar in Magaluf.
Now before you read this and get the opinion I missed the climb up the leagues I still had my season ticket and generally used to miss just the last 3-6 games of the season which I listened to online, and I got to see some amazing things and moments overseas including being in Greece when they won the Euros. However I`m digressing.
Ever since I went away I made it clear if Wigan ever got in the Premier League I would be quitting the next day and returning home. My Missus who I met while working abroad was told this when we first met and a year earlier almost to the day I`d had to be escorted out of a bar in Kos Town as Brian Deane stole what I thought at the time was our only chance of reaching the playoffs and what was in my mind Premier league football.
So when Wigan collapsed from challenging with Sunderland at the top of the league I was convinced yet again we would miss out, and I went off to Majorca for a season of fun and games. As the games ran out I started to question whether we could actually do it and two weeks before the end of the football season I tried to book a flight home so I could be there, but I was disappointed in finding that all flights were fully booked. After exhausting my options at getting home I finally realised I was stuck and had better make plans for the day.
After no sleep the night before, and I do mean no sleep, and boring my guests for the last 2 days I found myself on the morning of the game saying bye to my missus and making my way to one of the larger bars that would be showing the game but had Internet access at the same time. I spent the hour before the game concentrating in the computer with my headphones in listening to Matt McCann and Wish FM, whilst in my head statistically analyzing the team news.
Just as Matt uttered those now immortal words of "Strap yourselves in, it doesn`t get any better than this Wigan Athletic 90 minutes away from the Premier League", I turned around and was greeted by 50-100 Reading fans and me with the bar staff having done me the great favour of saving me a seat right at the front.
If you don`t remember we had to win as did Reading and as I made my way through the crowd I felt more pressure on me than I`m sure the players felt. As I reached my chair I found a lovely note from the Mockneys saying "Wigan`s only Fan" and "Premier League your having a laugh". Inside I fumed but before I could say anything it was under away the game had kicked off.
Now the rest of the day becomes a blur after this however as the second goal went in the crowd changed. The Reading fans had now decided that it was only fair Wigan went up and were on my side. They cursed as Breckin missed a header he should of buried and cheered when the pressure got to Nicky Forster.
On the 85th minute I jumped out of my seat and headed the ball into the net for Ellington, a cheer went up and I turned around looked at the crowd and burst into tears.
We were there, we had done it.
The euphoria had taken over and I knew then I wouldn`t be going working away anymore.
When my Girlfriend found me about 8 hours later my first words were " I`m going home" although by that point I don`t think she understood them or the context.
I tell you this on the eve of our Fifth Year in the Premier League and true to my word the next day I quit flew home a week later and watched Liverpool win the European Cup yet knew no matter how good that felt it was nothing compared to what I`d felt.
Now the reason I`ve told you this is that over the next few months as a Wigan fan we will have periods of excitement, periods of despair and periods of indifference but at the end of the day no matter what happens to this club and the players We the fans are Wigan Athletic and whatever happens it`ll be us that are here through thick and thin so sod Whelan, Cattermole and Picasso and just remember whatever happens what we are seeing week in week out we never expected to see and we defiantly never expected 5 years later to still be around.
So whether we sell our whole squad or we find ourselves languishing at the bottom of the league I know that I will still have a smile on my face because:
We Are Wigan Athletic and for 5 years We are Premier League.
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