Former Latics midfielder and play-off semi-final hero Darren Sheridan talks about his time at the club and where his career after playing has taken him in the latest edition of Latics Rewind.
- Latics Listen Podcast – Darren Sheridan.
- Sheridan talks about Latics and Millwall ahead of Sunday’s clash at the DW Stadium.
- The midfielder spent two years with Latics, scoring the only goal in the 2000 play-off semi-final win over the Lions.
Speaking on the latest episode of our podcast, Latics Listen, former Latics midfielder Darren Sheridan discussed a range of topics, including his memorable goal against Millwall in the 2000 play-off semi-final, his managerial stint and what life is like after football.
You scored the only goal in that memorable play-off semi-final win against Millwall all those years ago… I suppose you will tell me that it was going in anyway?
“It was one of them if you just hit it hard and low it might take a deflection and that’s what happened. I was made up and as long as it hit the back of the net that’s all that mattered.”
It was a really tight affair over both legs, the first game was goalless at the New Den with it all to do in the second leg, there didn’t seem to be much separating the two sides?
“Both of them were very tight games at their place and ours. It took a lucky goal to win it in the end, but we didn’t care, as long as we got to the final, we were happy with the result because it took us to Wembley Stadium.”
The club went 25 games unbeaten at the start of the year, it must have been a great first season for you under John Benson?
“It was a great season; we had a very good run. I think we got beat at home against Oldham Athletic in the end, but we had a good season. It was painful in the end going on that unbeaten run for so long and then just to miss out in the play-off final, it has certainly stayed with me that’s for sure.”
In terms of your time at Wigan Athletic, what was the attraction at the time for you to join from Barnsley?
“It was more or less through John Benson; he gave me the chance to get into professional football. He watched me at Winsford United and invited down for a trial at Barnsley and that’s where it all started. My contract was up at Barnsley and he (John) gave me a call and I remembered being made up because I didn’t have anything to fall back on, so I jumped at the chance to join him at Wigan Athletic.
“The move to the new stadium was also a big pulling factor for me, it was brilliant to be involved with that. The set-up and facilities were fantastic so it was certainly a memorable first season playing there.”
You took on Gillingham in the play-off final in 2000, what was that like to be involved because it certainly looked like a dramatic game?
“It was a proper cup tie, end to end stuff and a great battle. It was disappointing we lost in the manner that we did with six minutes to go after working so hard.
“We were thinking in our heads we were almost there, blow the whistle. I was thinking why don’t we bring Gareth Griffiths on to match his height as one of their players caused problems when he came on but it’s history and I guess you have to get on with it.
“We had a good set of players; we were just unfortunate on the day that it didn’t go our way. We had a good season but it just wasn’t enough.”
What is it you’re doing now following your retirement from football?
“I’m back at my old work doing ground work, which is what I used to do before I became a professional footballer.
“You look at all the pitches now and how looked after they are, they look like bowling greens so it’s great to have that money involved and to see how far it has come.”