Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday May 24 2012
Wigan Athletic former number one, Chris Kirkland, is due to leave the DW Stadium for pastures new when his contract at the Latics expires at the end of June, Sheffield Wednesday, newly promoted to the Championship have agreed a deal with the 31 year old and he is set to join Dave Jones' squad on the 1st July
Kirkland has been at the Latics for six years and it was seen as a statement of intent when Paul Jewell brought him from Liverpool, initially on loan, 129 Premier League appearances says that he was a success at the club, despite suffering from a recurring back problem
Kirkland was rated one of the best English goalkeepers over the past 10 years but he was restricted to just one England cap, which he got whilst at the Latics, he also made one of the best saves I have ever witnessed, away at Chelsea in April 2008, Kirkie somehow managed to tip an Anelka header over the bar and help the Latics claim a 1-1 draw
Speaking to the Latics official website about his move Kirkland said: 'You don't spend this long somewhere and not make some true friends.
'The last two years have been a little frustrating for me as I'm sure the fans can imagine but in football you have to take the rough with the smooth. I had four incredible seasons where I enjoyed the best form of my career and I made my England debut while I was here. These are things I will never forget.
'I want to thank everyone at the club and all the supporters. The term family club is over used in football but it is absolutely true for Latics, it's filled with good people from top to bottom and I will be cheering the lads on from a distance next season.'
'There have been quite a few highlights really. Getting the first point at Anfield was special for me, as was securing survival at Aston Villa, then beating Chelsea and Arsenal for the first time were also great days for the club.
'Happy days but all good things come to an end and I've now got to look forward to next season, stay fit and give my best for Sheffield Wednesday.'
'I'm one hundred per cent fit and raring to go. I'm delighted everything has been sorted so quickly and I can't wait to start work with the lads. It's going to be a tough season but the spirit will be great having just won promotion and I'm looking forward to it.'
Good luck Chris, from all at Vital Latics
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Date:Thursday May 24 2012
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