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Club News


18 June 2019

"It was a glorious day, a day I never thought I'd see." - BBC Political Correspondent and BBC Radio Manchester's Latics reporter, Paul Rowley.

  • 20 Years at the DW Stadium | Lifelong Latics supporter and radio personality, Paul Rowley.
  • Paul discusses his favourite moment from the past 20 years, our opening Premier League fixture.
  • "It was a fairytale only Hans Christian Andersen could have written, but it was written by Dave Whelan."

A fixture of the press box at the DW Stadium, BBC Radio Manchester's Paul Rowley is a lifelong Latics supporter and has travelled the country to report on the club he's followed since our non-league days at Springfield Park.

From cold and wet midweek evenings at Springfield Park infront of crowds little over 1,000, to a packed out 25,000 seater stadium for our first fixture in the Premier League, Paul really has seen it all.

And that's where his memories from our 20 years at the DW Stadium stick out the most, with Premier League champions Chelsea as our first visitors in the top flight.

"It was a glorious day, a day I never thought I'd see in my life," Paul recalled in his usual press box seat.

"I was here very early, 7.00am to speak to 5 Live about what an incredible day it was going to be. In truth, I only thought we'd last one season, like Barnsley and Swindon Town, but we stayed for eight seasons.

"The moment I thought we'd arrived was about 20 seconds in when Arjan De Zeeuw tackled Frank Lampard and I thought "wow, we're making a game of this."



"Chelsea were league champions, they went on to be league champions again that season and we only lost to them in stoppage time.

"I thought it was going to be a repeat of our very first game in the Football League against Hereford United in 1978 when we drew 0-0, a game I was the only radio commentator in the ground at the time.

"By the Autumn we were second in the Premier League and we'd won six games on the trot, including against Everton at Goodison Park.

"We reached the League Cup final after we beat Arsenal over two legs, including that incredible night at Highbury. It was an amazing season.

"Paul Jewell was at the helm and Mr Wigan, Dave Whelan, made it possible.

"It was an extraordinary time, such an adventure, a fairytale that Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm or even Jeffrey Archer could have written, but it was written by Dave Whelan."

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