Dave Whelan: This win makes up for 1960 misery

 

Wembley

Dave Whelan, Wigan Athletic's owner, claimed last night he had a premonition that his side would triumph 1-0 against Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

The Lancashire side were given little chance by pundits and rated as long-odds outsiders by the bookmakers, but the wealthy sportswear tycoon never lost faith in the club he has transformed since he took control as chairman in 1995.

"I thought we would get Man City in the final and win 1-0," said Whelan, a former Blackburn Rovers player who was injured in the first half of the 1960 Cup final against Wolverhampton Wanderers. "The dream has come true," he added. "I'm repaid for 1960 when I broke my leg and we lost the match. We've now got to stay in the Premier League, we've done everything then. This is going to lift the lads so much."

Wigan are in the bottom three in the Premier League, three points adrift from safety with only two games to save their season, but last night the players were basking in the glory of their stunning win.

Ben Watson, who came on in the 81st minute, replacing Jordi Gomez, was delighted his 90th-minute winner had crowned an unforgettable day for himself and everyone associated with the club.

Watson, who only returned last month after nearly five months out with a broken leg, said: "It is an unbelievable feeling. The boys were fantastic from the first minute to the 95th. It's been a long six months for me and this is a dream, coming on in an FA Cup final and scoring the winner.

"The fans were unbelievable – 81,000 people in Wigan and we bring 30,000 here, so credit to them. From the chairman to the manager, the staff and the players, we've all worked so hard."

Watson believes his side can now escape the drop provided they can repeat their Cup final form against Arsenal and Aston Villa. He said: "We've got two massive games now to stay in the League and if we perform like that we'll be all right. We will crack on again tomorrow."

His team-mate James McCarthy hailed the management of Roberto Martinez. "I think the gaffer is a tactical genius," said the Republic of Ireland midfielder, "It's down to his tactics what we've done.

"It's an unbelievable achievement for the club. I'm totally speechless, to be honest. It's a dream come true, it's what you dream of as a kid."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty