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."

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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map