Wigan Betting

Founded in 1932, Wigan Athletic are the new kids on the block by British football standards. They were formed as the replacement club for the defunct Wigan Borough F.C., who resigned from the Football League in 1931 due to financial troubles.

Nicknamed the Latics, the new team established themselves on the old team’s grounds at Sheffield Park. Unable to meet the requirements for Football League membership, they immediately joined the Cheshire League, which they quickly dominated by winning the title twice in 1933-34 and 1934-35.

The Latics also set an FA Cup record in 1935 by beating Carlisle United 6–1 in the first round. Till this day, it remains the biggest margin of victory for a non-league side over Football League opposition in Cup history.

Following the professional sports hiatus caused by World War II, Wigan Athletic were elected to the Lancashire Combination in 1945. Although they again failed to gain admission to the Football League, the Latics were a powerhouse in local league play throughout the 1950s.

In 1961, Wigan transferred their allegiance back to the Cheshire County League and remained there for six seasons. Then in 1968, the Club became founder members of the Northern Premier League (subsequently renamed the Unibond League in 1994).

When Wigan Athletic won the League championship in 1970-71 and then again in 1974-75, there was hope that entry to the Football League would soon be possible. However, it was not until 1978, after 34 rejections, that the League relented and opened the door to the Fourth Division, replacing a flagging Southport side.

The Latics proved worthy of the honour by finishing sixth on the table in 1978-79. Two seasons later, they were Division runners-up, which secured their promotion to the third tier of League play. In 1984-85, they won the Football League Trophy. The following season, they climbed to fourth place on the Division Three table, a feat they repeated in 1986-87.

For the next five years, Wigan struggled, narrowly avoiding relegation twice until a 23rd place finish in 1992-93 finally dropped them back a notch to the League’s new Third Division (old Division Four). Attendance fell in concert with the team’s fortunes. But for the purchase of the Club by local millionaire Dave Whelan in 1995, the Latics might have faded away altogether.

New ownership proved to be exactly the tonic Wigan Athletic needed to mount a revival. In 1996-97, they claimed the Third Division title. In 1998-99, they captured their second Football League Trophy. A move to the new DW Stadium in Robin Park provided additional impetus in 1999-2000, and by 2002-03 they had gained the Second Division title, assuring access to the First Division (old Division Two) for the first time in Club history.

The 2003-04 season ended with a seventh place finish—not good enough for the ambitious Latics. The next season they opened with a 17-game winning streak and finished 2004-05 as the Division runners-up, which was just good enough to gain promotion to the Premiership. Wigan had arrived at the top rung of the ladder at last.

Since then, the Wiganers have been enjoying their stay in the Premier League. A special moment was their shot at the Carling Cup in 2006. Although the game was lost to Manchester United 4-0, simply being in a cup final was an overwhelming experience for fans and players alike.

Despite inconsistencies, Wigan Athletic have managed to avoid relegation, floating between 10th and 16th on the Premiership table for the past six seasons. New kids or not, the Lactics are determined to stay in the top flight and may still have some pleasant surprises to offer for those who back them in the season(s) ahead.

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