FA Cup final: Dave Whelan cleared to lead Wigan team out at Wembley

The Latics take on Manchester City in the final on Saturday

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The Independent Football

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan, who broke his leg playing in the 1960 FA Cup final, will lead the team out for Saturday's Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

Wigan wanted Whelan, 76, to lead them out at the stadium for the semi-final against Millwall last month, but the protocol for that match did not allow them to do so.

However, the FA had no problem with granting their wish for Saturday's showpiece which will be broadcast live around the world.

"The FA have given permission for the chairman to lead us out and we are all delighted," Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told reporters before leaving for London.

Whelan, playing for Blackburn Rovers, broke his right leg shortly before halftime during the 3-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1960 FA Cup final.

The injury put paid to Whelan's career in the top flight although he played 115 matches for lower-league Crewe Alexandra before retiring in 1966.

He then started a business and became a multi-millionaire before buying control of Wigan and watching them climb through the divisions to the Premier League eight years ago.