My Favourite Shirt - Part Seven
Part Seven of 'My Favourite Shirt' has Wigan Athletic fan, Steve Halliwell, answering questions about his favourite shirt as well as other questions about The Latics.
Photos of the iconic 1995/96-1997/98 Wigan Athletic Home Kit
Why is this your favourite shirt? Since 1991 we had been with Matchwinner and although the some of their templates were innovative the change to Puma was dramatic in all aspects.
A fresh bold look with green side stripes set the shirt apart from all those around that era, simple in design and it was the start of the Dave Whelan reign at the club.
Coupled with that "The Three Amigos" arrived, Roberto Martínez & Isidro Díaz arrived from CF Balaguer with Jesús Seba from Real Zaragoza.
The 1995 shirt was manufactured from a heavy-duty material with a proper sewn on badge plus the sponsor JJB (obviously) was "in" the actual material and not some cheap shiny stick on affair.
I purchased one before the season started and it has been washed and ironed many times over and if sold could be described as "as new" a top-quality garment made in the UK by one of the leading sportswear firms. Hope springs eternal and it seemed like a fresh start for all involved both the club and the supporters.
Are there any happy or bad memories that come back to you when you see or think about this shirt? Time is a great healer and although we did suffer some heavy defeats in the first season of the kit, 2-6 at home to Mansfield and a five nil drubbing at Barnet springs to mind, most supporters were enthused by the strip and to this day it always wins the best kit in any fans polls/surveys.
The emergence of The Spaniards was a great highlight and we finished a respectable 10th in Division 3 and the Whelan revolution was starting and the unique kit was at the heart of it.
Any particular matches that stand out in your memory of this shirt? The whole of the 1996,97 Champions of Division Three, a 5-1 win against Leyton Orient and a 7-1 victory over Scarborough at our old homestead of Springfield Park were the biggest wins in years.
Who was the best player to wear this shirt? Graeme Jones scored a club record 31 league goals and along with Graham Lancashire were a fearsome forward duo in this division. Midfield still had a Spanish flavour with Paul Rodgers adding steel and at the back Colin Greenall & Pat McGibbon were immense in what was a great & upcoming team.
And the worst? I'm loathed to criticise any Wigan Athletic player in any era but in all honesty I can't think of one serious waste of space who wore the blue, white & green.
Why do you support Wigan? My home town club, started in 1965 and it has been one helluva ride since, culminating in that wonderful day at Wembley in 2013 as we produced a well-deserved victory against Manchester City.
What was the first Latics game you went to and what was the score? I would be lying if I said I knew, it would have been a friendly match at the beginning of the 1965.66 season, we finished second in the Cheshire County League after winning it the season before (glory hunter!)
How have Wigan done this season and what are your expectations for the remainder of the season left? After coming into the Championship as Champions of Division One much was expected by the Soccer AM/FIFA gamers who follow the club, the players really were too good for Div 1 but not really good enough for the higher level.
A protracted takeover seemed to stall any serious transfers in but the i's have been dotted and the t's crossed so we will have to see what if anything happens in the summer.
We should just about stay up this season, mainly because of other clubs be just a tad more woeful than us, our away form is diabolical this campaign.
Your best Wigan 1-11 in your time supporting the club? When I compile my team it is usually heavily biased to the non-league players as they were in my formative years, I was going to stick with just players since 1978 our entrance to the Football League but I can't turn my back on our history however over the years I have mellowed to include more "modern" players than my non-league favourites.
1 : Dennis Reeves (Goalkeeper)
2 : Kenny Morris
3 : Leighton Baines
4 : Peter Atherton
5 : Arjan de Zeeuw
6 : Ian Gillibrand (Captain)
7 : Charles N'Zogbia
8 : Roberto Martínez
9 : Jason Roberts
10 : Nathan Ellington
11 : Jordi Gómez
Alas League Football came just too late for the Latics Legend that is Ian Gillibrand, he led us out proudly at Edgar Street in 1978 but Old Father Time caught up with him and he only made a handful of League appearances (7) for the club.
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Interested in telling the world about your favourite shirt? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent the questions and asked to upload an image of you wearing or holding the shirt in your reply. You don't have that shirt? Not to worry! A pictutre of the shirt will suffice.
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