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CLUB BIDS FAREWELL TO ALEX CRIBLEY

10 July 2015

Latics legend Alex Cribley leaves Wigan Athletic.

  • Alex Cribley leaves Wigan Athletic.
  • Alex Cribley leaves after 35 years at the club.
  • Club thanks Alex Cribley for 35 years’ ‘incredible’ service.
Alex Cribley has left Wigan Athletic today after 35 years, putting an end to a career at the club which has seen him not only play and captain the team, but also act as caretaker manager, coach, scout and since 1999, physiotherapist to both the first team and the academy.

It has been an amazing journey for Alex, who was signed by Ian McNeill as a 23 year old in the summer of 1980 from Liverpool, where he had come through the ranks of the club and signed a professional contract after leaving university.

In his time at Latics, he has experienced four promotions and three relegations, won two league titles, two associate members cups, and of course, he was in the Wembley dressing room on May 11 2013 to see his team lift the FA Cup. He was also involved in the League Cup Final, and visited Wembley for a Play Off Final and two FA Cup semi-finals.

As a classy centre-half, he played 271 league games, still 5th in the all-time list, scoring 16 goals, many of them from the penalty spot, from which he was something of a specialist. He wore the captain’s armband on many occasions. He played 328 matches in all competitions until an ankle injury sadly ended his playing career in 1987 during a game at Sunderland’s Roker Park, aged just 30.

In total, he worked under an incredible 22 different permanent managers and took charge of the team himself following the departure of Kenny Swain in 1994. After his early retirement, he trained as a physiotherapist and has treated hundreds, if not thousands of players, in his time, from the first team to the development squad and the academy.

He was granted the ‘Freedom of the DW Stadium’ by then Chairman Dave Whelan in 2011 after passing the 30 years’ service mark.

Latics manager Gary Caldwell said:

“On behalf of everyone at the football club, we would like to thank Alex for his wonderful years of service and the place will certainly not be the same without him. I have only known him for five years or so but in that time he has been one of the constants, a real football man who has put his heart and soul in to the club over 35 great years and we wish him all the best.”

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