Former Wigan Athletic captain, club legend and Wigan Athletic Community Trust Trustee Emmerson Boyce reflects on his DW Stadium memories as we celebrate 20 years at the Stadium.
- 20 YEARS | Legend Emmerson Boyce reflects on his DW Stadium memories
- Boycey discusses Premier League classics, our European adventure and returning to the DW with Blackpool
- Boyce: “My favourite memory at the DW Stadium was leading Wigan Athletic out for our first Europa League match against Maribor. A game we won 3-1, it was a great night for the club in terms of our first European adventure and it was a great honour for me to lead the team out.”
Wigan Athletic legend Emmerson Boyce says leading the club at the DW Stadium for our first-ever European fixture in 2013 stands out as his favourite memory of his time with the club, at our own stadium.
Boyce was captain as Latics beat Slovenian side NK Maribor 3-1 thanks to goals from Nick Powell (2) and Ben Watson at the ‘Wigan Athletic Stadium’ in our first home fixture of the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League.
Reflecting, Boyce said:
“My favourite memory at the DW Stadium was leading Wigan Athletic out for our first Europa League match against Maribor. A game we won 3-1, it was a great night for the club in terms of our first European adventure and it was a great honour for me to lead the team out.
“It was a fantastic occasion; growing up you watch the European matches on TV so to lead Wigan Athletic out here at the DW, with the anthem on and the atmosphere in the ground, it was incredible.
“From where the club has come from in terms of the lower leagues, to winning the FA Cup and European football it was a fantastic achievement for the club let alone us as players individually.”
Domestically, Boyce enjoyed being part of wins against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in a nine-year spell which secured him his legendary status with the club.
“I remember scoring the two goals against Wolves; the first one a header and the second a volley that was a great strike from myself,” Boyce added.
“Also the header against West Brom – my first goal at the DW – Scott Carson signed for us later in my time here and the first thing I said to him was about me scoring top corner against him.
“West Ham – 2-0 down at half-time and to comeback, the atmosphere was incredible – Bournemouth in the FA Cup when we were so close to losing, if that result didn’t go the way it did winning the FA Cup wouldn’t have happened.
“Beating Manchester United – nobody gave us a chance and we were on a fantastic run that year – and we played really well in the whole game. Roberto Martinez just said to us, keep the ball, United don’t want to chase after us and it was one of the best games we played.”
Boyce left Latics in 2015, joining Blackpool for a one-season spell at Bloomfield Road, and after the disappointment of his DW spell ending, the Bajan defender said he drew solace from the reaction of Latics supporters, with the legend now back involved with the club via his work as a Trustee for Wigan Athletic Community Trust.
“It has been an incredible journey, lots of ups and downs, I came back here with Blackpool and after the way I left the club I vowed never to step into the DW again but the crowd were amazing, they gave me a standing ovation, singing my name and that was a chapter closed.
“As a personal touch for me – and I’m not an emotional guy – it brought a tear to my eye and brought me back to the DW and Wigan.”