The Duke relives his time at Latics and his partnership with Jason Roberts on our official podcast, Latics Listen.
- Nathan Ellington chats to Guy Clarke for our official podcast, Latics Listen.
- The Duke tells us of his friendship and partnership up front with Jason Roberts.
- Ellington likens current squad mentality to the one he played in back in the 2000s.
Between them Nathan Ellington and Jason Roberts scored 110 goals for Latics in an era which set Latics up for the success that came in the 2000s and beyond. The Duke, who arrived before JR, was our latest Latics Rewind guest on the podcast, and went into detail about how he managed to convince manager Paul Jewell to sign his close friend from West Bromwich Albion back in January 2004, a conversation he said was actually quite simple.
You can listen to Nathan with Guy Clarke from 32:45 on Latics Listen, or read his words from the excerpt below.
"My partnership with Jason came naturally. He went to the same school as me, but I didn't find that out until I went to Bristol Rovers and first met him. It turned out we were at the same school and had the same PE teacher but he was there a few years before me.
"I ended up living with him at that point and we were in the squad at the same time, but I didn't get chance to play with him at Bristol because it was Jason and Jamie Cureton up front. He moved on before I got the chance to play alongside him.
"At Wigan I spoke to Paul Jewell and said 'you have to see if you can get him' and it happened, finally we got to play up front together.
"We knew each other's strengths and as friends we wanted the best for each other. You're taught to be selfish when you get in front of goal, but as good friends whenever we had a better chance to set each other up we did, and that's what was so successful about our partnership up front.
On his time at Latics, Ellington added:
"I had a great time at the club and it was definitely the most successful time of my career.
"Everything was amazing. The lads, the staff, the fans, everything was perfect.
"I already knew I could play well in Division Two because I played in it with Bristol Rovers the year before. When I moved to Wigan Paul Jewell said 'look, we've got a great team but we want to add the last piece to the puzzle, a striker who can get 20+ goals a season, that would get us promoted'.
"It was an easy decision because everything at the club was so positive. I was moving closer to where I was born (Bradford) so I was able to see my family a lot more. It was a higher league, better players, a better stadium, everything fell into place.
"It's not often that you get a full squad who are so close knit. We weren't just team mates, we were good friends and we spent a lot of time together. It was always fun. When you're winning it's always going to be fun and we were winning pretty much all of the time.
"We all had the same drive and determination to win and we shared the same pain whenever we lost. To have that in every player is a recipe for success and we achieved exactly what we wanted to achieve.
"For many of us it was our first time in the Championship when we got promoted so it was a step into the unknown, but because we kept that squad together and we added a few extra players like Jason Roberts, it kicked us on to another level and we ended up well clear of most other teams apart from Sunderland and Ipswich Town."