Football Sport

Fairytales do happen

Written by James Potter

Wigan, in England’s north, is a working man’s town. It is famous for being the home of England’s most successful rugby league team. It’s a tough place to live, built on blood, sweat and tears but it now has a sporting fairytale that will be remembered for many years to come.

Wigan Athletic surprised many when they made their way into the Premier League back in 2005 and have surprised even more to have avoided relegation since thanks to some remarkable escapes. This year they are again in a tooth and nail struggle to remain in the top tier of English football. It is looking grim and this may very well be the year they succumb to the pressure of arguably the most important club competition of any sport, anywhere in the world.

But their Premier League battles aside, Wigan kept winning their FA Cup ties this season. They had some close calls along the way but when they beat Millwall They had some close calls along the way but when they beat Millwall in their semi-final at the Wembley Stadium, in front of the hostile and violent East London fans, their fan base swelled with pride. After all, although they were destined to come up against a Premier League juggernaut in either Manchester City or Chelsea, who were facing off in the other semi-final, just getting there was an incredible effort in itself.

No one reminded Wigan, 10/1 underdogs in the final, to read the script and after a scoreless 90 minutes of regular time, the ball found its way into the back of the Manchester City goal as the clock ticked over into added time. The whistle blew and after 80 years, Wigan had won their first major piece of silverware.

Fairytales are a dangerous thing to rely on when you are a sports bettor but when the unimaginable happens you not only have to accept it but appreciate the fact that these magical moments are what make sport the intoxicating spectacle we all enjoy so much.