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FORMER ARMY CAPTAIN AND INSPIRATION IBI ALI VISITS DW STADIUM AHEAD OF FOOTBALL 4 FORCES FIXTURE

13 April 2018

Ibi was injured by a road-side bomb in 2007 and lost his lower right arm, but re-trained and returned to active service 18 months later.

  • Ibi lost his right arm in Iraq but re-trained and returned to active service.
  • He has completed a number of mammoth expeditions for charity.
  • Saturday's game will be designated to the Armed Forces community.

Ahead of the Football 4 Forces fixture against Rotherham United tomorrow, former Army Captain Ibi Ali visited the DW Stadium this afternoon to share his experiences of working in the Armed Forces with the club’s staff and academy players.

Ibi, a former Army Captain, was injured by a road-side bomb in Iraq in 2007 and lost his lower right arm, but re-trained and returned to active service 18 months later.

Last year, he ran a marathon on every continent in a week to raise funds for an Armed Forces rehabilitation centre in Loughborough, while in 2013 he was part of the Walking with the Wounded trip which skied to the South Pole with Prince Harry.

Tomorrow’s game at home to the Millers will see Latics celebrate the work of the Armed Forces community, with the club hosting a Football 4 Forces tournament at 11am at Robin Park Arena before the Family Zone opens in the players’ car park at 1pm with activities led by the Armed Forces.

The Red Devils parachute team will later deliver the match ball to the officials at 2.55pm before Latics Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson will re-sign the Armed Forces Covenant at half-time.

Ibi said: “It was great to be able to speak a little bit about my experiences and how they can relate the staff here at Wigan, but namely the Academy players who are at the start of their careers. We discussed overcoming adversity, facing challenges and the teamwork element of life because no team will ever succeed without gelling together.

He added: “The game tomorrow will be a head turner for all of the football leagues, not just League One which obviously Wigan and Rotherham are in. Latics are top of the league for playing football but as far as I’m concerned they’re top of the league for looking after their Armed Forces as well.”

Jamie Cotter, second year Academy player, said: "Ibi told us about the impotance of motivation and teamwork and how it helps you in life. His challenges may have been bigger than what we face every weekend but it all helps."

Please email Sport Engagement Coordinator Fergus Heyes on f.heyes@wiganathletic.com or call 01942 318090 for more information about the Football 4 Forces programme.

Wigan Athletic Football Club, Wigan Athletic Community Trust and the DW Stadium are committed to respecting and promoting equality and diversity across all its activities through Together.

Click here for more information about Together.


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