Cans & Megabus – Your Essential Guide To Wigan Athletic (A)

Tom Walsh is back with another helpful guide to the latest outpost on our meandering journey through League One

It’s on very rare occurrences that Cans & Megabus must tip its cap to another of the teams in this big poo of a division but there’s just something about Wigan that warms the cockles of our metallic heart. Maybe it’s the humble nature of former Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan, maybe it’s the Dave Whelan Stadium, maybe it’s the fact they gifted us our greatest ever player (Will Grigg), or maybe it’s because they play rave music in their pubs at 11 in the morning.

Whatever it is, there is something entirely wholesome about this specific corner of Lancashire. Look at them, little Wigan, with their funny, yet endearing voices. It’s a place where all the children already sound like they’ve been performing at working men’s clubs for 15 years, and it’s a place where the most common profession is, indeed, working men’s club compere.

It’s somewhere Cans & Megabus can rest his weary bones and enjoy a pastry dish that will induce coronary disease within the hour. I think it’s even more enjoyable that despite no one in the town even knowing what football is, they conspired to create a team that played in Europe, won an FA Cup and employed the Big Beautiful Cheekbones® of Owen Coyle.

So here’s to you, Wigan, a bright spot in this otherwise chemical toilet of a division and, indeed, country.

How To Recreate the DW Stadium experience?

Have you ever considered renaming your house after yourself? If you haven’t then you simply lack the humble nature of former Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan. In fact, in preparation for this game, paint your initials in ten foot high letters on the front of your home so everyone knows just who lives here.

Then, of course, you’re going to need some real Wigan-esque cuisine to compliment your viewing of the smiting of the Latics, so do it the traditional Wiganer way. Place a delicious meat and potato pie between a bun and press some Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls in the middle. Consume while piping hot and enjoy a nice, relaxing heart attack.

Does This Place Have Any Good Brews?

To wash all that minty, meaty goodness down your gullet, you’re going to need some real hearty Wigan ale. Have no fear, because Prospect Brewery is here, straight from WN into your belly.

Treat yourself to their range of five litre kegs including a fruity Cascade Blonde, a rambunctious Not Too Shabby pilsner or filling Pudding Shop Milk Stout among many, many, many others.

Did You Know?

He may be more commonly known for his staunch defence of risque text enjoyer Malky Mackay and for suggesting football should observe a minute’s silence following the death of Margaret Thatcher, but did you know former Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan actually broke his leg in an FA Cup final?

It’s true! A young Whelan was part of the 1995 Everton team that beat Manchester United, however, a crunching tackle from Brian McClair saw the burgeoning half back stretchered off after just 17 seconds. 

The story of Whelan’s FA Cup woe has rarely been mentioned by broadcasters or the man himself, and even when Wigan lifted the cup in 2013, Whelan’s humble nature ensured this tale was not even repeated ad infinitum on the day of the game.

Tom Walsh