Why oh why Wigan? Its an Holistic Experience.
Of course we all have our own reasons for going to watch Wigan Athletic and not Arsenal. That reason may simply be because 1 sells match day tickets for £97 and the other £17 or it may be because Wigan, as researched by the BBC (who clearly have nothing better to do), sells the cheapest pies.
For me – it’s a bit more. It’s an escape from reality, from the frustrating and illogical world of dimwits like Jeremy Hunt who agrees that it is ok to give MPs a 9% pay rise and Health care workers 1% or nothing.
Or is it Mr Bean??
It’s an escape from the everyday humdrum of life to a fairy tale world of expectation and even delusion but sometimes a getaway to a far off land of utopia where the impossible happens, where laughter abounds, where beer is drunk and where interesting and fun people are met.
Over time you get to know that small group of people who surround you at the game, you get to catch up with people that you hugged when Boyceeee scored against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
N.B. ALL CHARACTERS REFERRED TO IN THIS MATCH REPORT ARE ENTIRELY FICTITOUS , ARE A PRODUCT OF MY IMAGINATION AND BEAR NO RESEMBLANCE TO REAL LIFE PEOPLE. Except of course C Macmamamamanum, Espi and Boyceeeeeeeeeee
Yes, that reminds me. There I was standing in the concourse at Cardiff before the FA Cup game when Sir Ben scored that screamer of a free kick, to be winked at by a tall blond. “What are you like”? She asked. Unsure what she meant I pursued it a bit further, but sadly, in one sense to no avail. It was you who said at Villa that “Boyceee was off like a cheetah in the Serengeti”.
At times you get to see Callum dance his way around the opposition, confusing everyone and everything around him, including his own legs, but somehow he scores another stunner.
Pete, from Stoke is my all time good friend. We often meet up on the train north. We have the usual pre and post match analysis, select the team which always includes Roger Espi and then he asks if I post on any message boards. He discovers my user name. “Hmmm Ihaventaclue, yeah I’ve seen your postings. You really do know your stuff”. Friend for life, and he wasn’t joking!
In the pub for the routine, necessary and superstitious pre match pint of ‘Crack Shot’, we beat Reading 4 – 0 and ‘Admiral of the Blues’ (before Brentford ,and clearly it did bring on the blues) preceded by mushy peas and chips. I meet ‘father christmas’ from down south. His white beard and red hat are a giveaway. He tells me that this will be Owen Coyle’s last game. He was right. I later asked him how he knew; tapping his nose he tells me he has ‘insider information’ but can tell me no more!! No one else predicted it.
Pre match beer is a requirement; dehydration is a well known phenomenon to afflict footballer supporters.
Then there are the ones you don’t meet, or not knowingly. One of my all time favourite past times is laughing. There is Les Bradds Lad, Jocklatic, Inspector LeeKoo who solves all the issues but is dormant at present, WhoRYa who corrects us all on the rules and occasionally suggests the ref may have got it right and Grumpster amongst others. All good on-line friends who have graciously abused and politely insulted me in such a way that I can only assume it is a term of endearment. I mean, after a perfectly sane posting on Wiganer.net I get a reply saying 1 word “LUNATIC” or “Has thee ‘ad a reet good smoke this evening” or “even that’s off theee wall for thee Cloo”? And Boyceeeunderrated just ignores me.
A stunning performance put in by the boys at Wolves lead to a text from a friend saying simply “Wigan Winning”. It was said as if it was a kinda novelty. He of little faith.
Usernames are there to maintain anonymity. Of course they are. I move along the row to my seat and he points at me….. “Ah, get to your seat ihaventaclue”. I have never either seen or spoken to this guy before. He refuses to tell me who he is or how he knows that I could be me, even though I may not be. But he is convinced and he assesses my apparent postings with me every game.
Just along the row, well she wasn’t just along my row until I moved on to hers is Ella. There was a time when I wanted to write one of these with associations to body parts but I could get no further than Ella, who I would give a virtual pat to every time we scored. Subtle eh? Too subtle – pat Ella. That f ella bit flat. Anyway, Ella now has an app. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29569748 You see, I get a bit hacked off that in those seemingly endless periods when Wigan are slotting in goal after goal and the guys on the pitch get a hug and I don’t. I tried hugging Ella and although I’m sure she was almost appreciative I’m not sure her Dad was, but I think her friend felt left out. Oh what it is to live in a world of delusion!! You can click on Ella anytime now and even down load her on to your hard drive. You can have her as a screen saver on your laptop and scroll down with your mouse and double click.
I once wanted to go to Bloomfield Road to watch the Zog and Diame score in the sun. It was sold out. I put a request on Wiganer.net and what’s more got a response. My now Doctor friend quietly sits and absorbs it all, stitching together each subsequent pass, feeling the pulse of the game, defining who the pacemaker is, finding it difficult to stomach yet another back pass and being frustrated that the ref, by the end of the game is always running at least 4 minutes late and pressure is rising. He thinks my match reports are very good for PR. I had to have a phone consultation with him before I got my appointment; his main assessment was to ensure I “wasn’t one of those rowdy ones”. Did he think I was the Drummer Boy??
Usually I now sit with the Doctor, in the relatively quiet area of ES but alongside us are ‘MulletManandhisDad’. Just along from them is ‘Smiler’ (who is usually ‘Giggler’ – who appears not to mind being hugged). MM&HD keep a non opinionated and at times almost silent commentary (Yeah Right!!) on the game with infrequent moments of censorship. They came into their element after the Blackpool game when their keeper, unlike any other keeper – ever – wasted time. MM&HD reported the keeper to the police for breaking the rules and inciting an infringement of the peace. Giggler uncontrollably giggled through it all, as she did most of the match Giggling at every pointless pass, missed tackle and useless throw in. She Giggles so much that I don’t even have to put a joke such as ….. ‘Why does the farmer keep all his cows in separate fields?’ … ‘So they can be seen and not hurd / heard’. Well, she may Giggle at that! But maybe not!
Now how is this for enthusiasm and dedication. He is that keen!! He also has the uncanny knack of predicting the result. Starting with 4 – 0, but frequently amending said score, until the last minute and with astute awareness says “think it might be 0 – 0”. Dumi makes the tortuous trip all the way from Zimbabwe, via Leeds and Birmingham and is soon to become a regular, having slipped into beer, balls and chips with greater ease than Barnett’s aspirations of a pin point Jordi slide rule pass in the first half, west side, north end, 27th minute, but there was just no one there to pick it up. I have told Dumi, like a Jordi pass, the important thing about watching Wigan is the anticipation. At least we didn’t let 8 goals in and we didn’t anticipate this clip!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5id_C1hsQYw Roll on Millwall – ohhh the anticipation!
Samantha, my brother and I have a secret (NOT a threesome). I met her at an important game in which the away end was sold out. I’d never met her before and ‘somehow’ I got her tickets in the home end, next to the away end. OMG! What a baptism of fire that was. I hid my true allegiance by wearing an away shirt lent to me by a friend at work. Then we scored and it ensured another season in the Prem. Our away friends went a combination or bonkers and bananas and we had to sit there feeling equally as delirious but looking forlorn and fed up as we suffered a tirade of insults, abuse and ‘V’ signs, if only they had known we were one of them they may just have been a bit kinder. And still only 5 of us know our secret. And believe me everyone…. it ended there. Never seen her before or since.
We sat next to the ‘Lawyer’ (who is actually an electrician) for breakfast in our hotel in Bruges. Then he appeared in Derby, Cardiff, Wigan, Manchester and Maribor. I’m envious of him. He went to all three European games, had an adventure on his way to Kazan and now often turns up at DWembley North with his family. ‘Mr Ohm’ spent most of the game resisting Mrs Ampere’s view on the current state of the game. Then the clever sod suddenly shouted out to her ‘Einstein would have thought this was all relatively good’. There was a flash, Shotton short circuited and the Polish ref saw red. The atmosphere was alive. On the trip back from Maribor we bumped into him in Zagreb, the birth place of Mr Tesla. He was clearly attracted to the place!! Boom boom!!
For once just nothing seemed to go right at Blackburn, and we didn’t even get a parade by the chicken to lighten our mood.
But absolutely best of all and I give most respect to CORNEA-lius with his PUPIL friend. That amazing blind guy who travels home and away with his trusty radio if the commentary is on, and his friend who gives the commentary if it isn’t on the radio. His celebrations are only a blink of an eye lid slower than most others. He falls over the seating in the same way as the rest of us. I don’t know – he just makes me feel a bit inadequate and very lucky.
Alan, who was good enough to get me some Wembley tickets, just thinks I rabbit on endlessly in a fairly haphazard way with little of any importance to say. Unlike anyone else the ‘sod’ actually thinks that in terms football skills, knowledge and strategy I am clueless. I beg to differ but I still think he is a good lad.
I should listen more to those that often give me a lift to the match. He goes religiously to every match. She has an uncanny knack of only going to games at which she knows there will be goals and a win, although she did let us down against Leicester away last season, and so did Boyceee who for the first time ever didn’t cover anyone or anything at that corner. For all the other good he’s done though, he’s forgiven!! Apparently there will be goals and a win against Fulham. You heard it first here. Recently she told me that all my e mails automatically go straight to her junk box. Friends!! Huh!!
And what would a game at Wigan be without the CHUNK to lighten the mood and bring a smile to us all.
These are just some of the reasons why I go to WAFC. It’s not just the football, it’s not just the stunning goals, it’s not just the fun and banter; it’s not just the escapism. It has a lot to do with the great and fun people I don’t really know but bump into most games. (funny how the Arsenal keeper is so far off his line – GRRRRRRRRR – match fixing again).
So, for the time being here endeth the musings, travels and travails of a Wigan fan. Unlike some, I am almost over my alleged and unknown hatred of Bolton, and am spurred on by the varying tastes of mashed hops, the optimistic hope of a hug and the ever elusive wish of a goal from the knights that take up armour each week ……… the story will continue!!
Where the ‘Match Reports’ have been viewed. Wigan is a world wide phenomenon!!
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