Wigan Athletic experienced the sort of pandemonium never before seen at the club on 11 May 2013. Through a late Ben Watson winner, the plucky Premier League strugglers clinched their first ever FA Cup triumph with a 1-0 win over mega-rich Manchester City.
Roberto Martinez and his men, lead by captain Emmerson Boyce, carried out a perfect game plan to quell the threat of Roberto Mancini’s charges, and in so doing ensured an FA Cup ghost of the club’s devoted owner’s past had been exonerated.
Dave Whelan, the club’s former long term owner, had broken his leg while playing for Blackburn in their FA Cup final defeat to Wolves in 1960. The magnitude of the leg break meant that Whelan’s professional career was ended at the age of 23. The triumph of his boyhood club that soaking afternoon meant that a traumatic chapter in the businessman’s life had come to a close.
Wigan were placed into administration on Wednesday, sending shockwaves through football
The Latics had celebrated the greatest triumph in their club history only seven years ago when they lifted the FA Cup after defeating Manchester City at Wembley Stadium
No sooner had the confetti hit the ground did things soon unravel for the club
But for Wigan Athletic, an altogether perilous chapter of their history was being penned. What has followed has been a combination of relegations, bad signings and instability inside the club, all of which have lead to the Latics being placed in administration and handed a 12-point deduction by the EFL.
It’s a dire outlook for a club that had at one stage been an ever present figure in England’s top flight. In truth, the confetti had barely touched the sodden Wembley grass that May afternoon before things started to unravel for the club.
No longer than 72 hours after Wigan’s FA Cup triumph, their eight-year spell in England’s top flight was over. A 4-1 hammering away to Arsenal sealed Martinez’s side’s fate and sent them packing to the Championship, in doing so becoming the first ever team to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season.
Just three days after the Wembley triumph, Wigan were relegated from the Premier League
Despite the euphoria of the cup win, Wigan were unable to survive and their eight-year stint in the top flight came to an end in 2013
Latics fans were left with a bittersweet taste, with the euphoria of winning football’s oldest domestic competition and a place in the following season’s Europa League tainted by the loss of Premier League football.
All the more concerning for the Wigan faithful was the future of their young, innovative manager. Despite failing to steer the club from the perils of relegation, Roberto Martinez had endeared himself to England’s media and it came as no surprise when Everton came calling.
Martinez was announced as the Toffees new manager on June 5, just three weeks after the Latics’ FA Cup glory. Now the club were heading for England’s second tier without their inspirational…