Wigan Cosmos Play At St James' Park
When the Latics 'entertained' Newcastle United at the DW Stadium back in March, there were one or two incidents that left a lot of ill feeling between the two clubs
One of these incidents involved local amateur team Wigan Cosmos, who had their game with Goose Green interrupted and the nets and match ball damaged by a group of travelling supporters
Well, I am very pleased to report, that Newcastle United and the vast majority of their genuine fans not only condemned the antics of what was done that day, but also donated money to the Cosmos to buy new match day equipment and Newcastle United actually invited them up to St James' Park to have a stadium visit and play a game on the hallowed turf
Vital Latics very own Dave Jones, aka Taff57, went along with the Cosmos to record the day for prosperity in conjunction with his productions company Anchor Video and provide us all with a report on proceedings, over to you Dave:
Wigan Cosmos and Newcastle United.
I think everyone knows what happened outside the DW Stadium when we played Newcastle United in March this year. A few of their idiot fans brought disgrace on their club by ruining a local game at the Wigan Cosmos ground.
It got them a bad press and on top of Callum McManaman's tackle set up some bad feeling between our two clubs both on and off the field.
However, some good did come out of all this, because the genuine Newcastle fans had a whip round and contributed a very decent sum of money to the Cosmos. On top of that the Newcastle club also contributed some money, plus invited Wigan Cosmos to visit St James' Park to play a game of football preceded by a tour of the Stadium.
This visit took place on Monday 20th May and resulted in a fantastic day out that the players and officials will remember for a long time. I was honoured to film the whole day out and we have produced an excellent record of the day on DVD.
We set out from Wigan at 9 30am and arrived at Newcastle around 1pm. After a bit of trouble finding out where to park our coach and car we were made very welcome. A grand chap took us around the stadium, which took in the trophy cabinets, they haven't been opened for a long time, the sponsor's lounges, the executive boxes, the home dressing room and out into the executive seating areas.
We all had a wry smile on our faces when he mentioned that it was 50 years since they last won a domestic trophy, whilst we just happen to be the FA Cup holders for 2013.
The size of the place is immense and the income they create from the very large fan base plus the income from sponsors and the renting out of parts of the ground for big events makes you realise how hard it is for Wigan Athletic to compete. We were told lots of information about the place and how Sir Alex Ferguson unveiled a bust of Bobby Robson in front of the Manchester United and Newcastle teams before a game.
The stadium guide was very apologetic about what had happened to the Cosmos game in Wigan and said that the whole Newcastle Club and its fans were really upset about the event. All those recognised from photographs and video footage had been banned from the club.
After the tour we came back outside to grab some lunch, and promptly bumped into another legend, Peter Beardsley. He was very friendly and everyone posed with him for photographs.
After lunch it was back into the stadium for the match. The Cosmos thought they were playing a local Newcastle team, but out of the blue who should walk in but Goose Green, who had also been invited up for the match.
The two teams did a warm up and then walked out onto the pitch, where photographs were taken by the local press. We then witnessed a good game of football, and it was obvious from their passing style that Cosmos had plenty of Latics fans in their team. The teams played 30 minutes each way and Cosmos scored a goal in each half to run out 2-0 winners.
After the game whilst me and my assistant returned home the Cosmos were spending the night in Newcastle with an overnight stay to round things off.
Thanks Dave for the report and also thanks to Newcastle United and their genuine supporters for such a great gesture
Wigan Cosmos line up on the St. James' pitch