Introducing Austrian Latics fans, Christoph Huber.
- Meet Austrian Latics fan Christoph Huber.
- Christoph is one of 14 fans signed up from his country.
- Latics fans worldwide standing up to be counted for the Football League.
The campaign began back in June, and so far we have 67 nations represented, from our leading supporters in Australia, to the lesser known British Virgin Islands!
In our first instalment from our fans across the globe, we head to Salzburg, Austria.
NAME: Christoph Huber
LOCATION: Salzburg, Austria
Why did you start supporting Wigan Athletic?
The first reason I began to follow the club was because of Paul Scharner. He joined Latics in the Premier League, and as a fellow Austrian it was natural for me to support him.
Scharner of course used to play for my hometown club Austria Salzburg 1933, but when the club was taken over and changed to Red Bull Salzburg I felt that I had no club to support.
Paul Scharner signs for Latics in 2005.
I then asked myself the question ‘Wigan who?’, but I read up on the history of the club and I was very impressed. Reading about the big FA Cup upsets even before the club made it into the Football League gave it a very romantic feel and that’s something which has carried on during my time as a supporter.
The big moment I knew this club was for me was when the team showed the fight and desire to stay in the Premier League against Sheffield United in 2007, it was inspiring to see everyone dig in.
What was the first Latics match you saw?
It was on television and we played Arsenal at home in November 2005 and took the game right to them, against big stars like Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg and Robin Van Persie.
The game was before Paul Scharner signed for the club, but I immediately felt a connection.
I felt we deserved more, but we eventually lost 3-2 with goals from Jimmy Bullard and Henri Camara. I remember it so well because it ended our massive winning run that saw us battling with Chelsea at the top of the league.
What was the first Latics game you attended?
I finally managed to make it over from Austria in 2009, we were up against Birmingham City near Christmas and unfortunately we lost 3-2.
We had just won 1-0 against Sunderland so I was quite optimistic, but we came up short trying to come back from 3-1 down. Charles N’Zogbia and Jordi Gomez were the goal scorers that day. We might have lost, but I loved every minute of it, finally getting to watch Latics live.
Jordi Gomez watches as his effort beats Joe Hart for his first Latics goal.
What is it like supporting Latics from Austria?
Obviously it’s not as good as being local to Wigan and being able to see all of the matches, but I have managed to visit a few more times.
My second trip to Wigan was in December 2010 when we drew 2-2 against Stoke and in 2012 I came with two of my friends in December again, this time we drew 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers.
I’ve always had a quality time in Wigan, I love all the people there and they’ve always been very welcoming.
When Latics came over to Austria a few years ago I managed to attend some of the games. In 2011 we played Al Ain and Al Ahli and the following year we playing Botev Plovdiv from Bulgaria and Hoffenheim from Germany.
I managed to speak to the manager and some of the players after the game, it was a big thing for me having never met them before.
Christoph with Ali Al Habsi during pre-season in Austria in 2012.
What are your hopes for the new season?
My biggest hope is to come back to Wigan and see another match, and on the pitch I hope we go straight back into the Championship.
Are you a Latics fan living outside of the United Kingdom? Join our growing worldwide support on the Stand Up and Be Counted map by [clicking here] and be in with a chance of winning travel, accommodation and tickets to see us play!
If you can't make it to Latics matches, don't forget to follow every game live with audio commentary on Latics PlayerHD and in-game debate on Latics Wall.