The Romans built a fort at Wigan.
Thus begin all official and unofficial histories of one of England’s least known shanty towns.
The problem for Wigan was that having got there the pesky Romans took a look and immediately buggered off, leaving the village to the even peskier Northumbrians. After 800 years they built a graveyard which was considered to be a “Good Thing”.
All of this makes our match in Wigan difficult. If you want to go, there are tickets available. There are always tickets available. But you probably won’t find the place because it is not in Wigan at all, as I will explain in detail.
I shall attend to the football in a moment (which is not momentarily – which actually means “for a moment” – I thought you would like to know that), but first Wigna… no Wygon,… Wergan…. Wogan….
Wiogan’s growth over a period of 800 years is considered by town planners in Birtain to be an all time record for development, and every week they meet at Wygon under the Pier to discuss how it was done. A current popular debate is how the speedy building tactics of the Saxons in Wigann could be used in the repair of the M1 and M25 motorways.
In the 10th century the Icelanders arrived with their volcanoes and all the air traffic stopped. Most of Wiggan’s streets are named after Icelandic people in the hope of getting a note in the Domesday Book, but as a ploy it failed, the township was towed out to sea and sunk off the coast of Ireland.
In 1246 King Eddie Waring granted Wigan a charter allowing them back into England, and to have weekly markets, rugby league, mud and Morris dancing. Then they got another charter in 1257 from Henry the Thrid, King of the Twerping Errors which allowed rugby and football to be played on the same park. This was considered a “bad thing”.
In 1536 John Leyland (and not John Lennon as reported in some history books) moved to the area and started building trucks which were used in the Daff civil war, in which members of the Conservative Party pulled Wigan apart. Oli Cromwell called Wigan “a very malignant town” and so it was pulled down so that they could mine coal and make clocks. In 1856 another cemetery opened and in 1873 Wigan Infirmary gained a place in the Rugby League.
In 1937 Wigan became famous when George Orwell wrote The Road to Wigan Pier (the pier was a landing stage on the canal where boats could unload coal and turnips). The book painted a true picture of muck, mud, disease, dirt, poverty and unemployment in the town and brought an end to the hopes of a thriving tourist trade. Wigan then gave up and became part of Manchester (something for which it was naturally endowed) and has never been seen again.
Wigan Athletic FC was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough, Wigan County, Wigan United and Wigan Town. It is the most unsuccessful football club in the history of the mutli-verse.
Wigan Athletic once beat Carlisle 6–1 and this is still celebrated and in 1968 Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Unibond League which is also seen as “A Good Thing”. They had Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in one season and is a national hero. He was “A Good Lad”.
After 34 failed election attempts, including one application to join the Scottish Second Division (you think I am making this up but it is all true – well this bit is, honest) Wigan Athletic were elected to the Football League in 1978 after Southport sank into the sands and has never been seen again.
Bruce Rioch was their manager for 2000/1 but the club quickly realized their errors and got rid of him after half a season eventually getting Steve Bruce.
Wigan Athletic’s stadium holds 25,138 people and is shared with the Wigan Warriors, a ground of 10th century Northumberland headbangers.
The stadium is the only ground in the EPL to have its own hills within it with the height of the ground varying between 30 feet below and 17 feet above sea level, and incorporates mud flats, sandbanks, dunes, knolls and waterways. A small area of grass can be seen to the south west of the stadium, but this is up for sale.
Eddie Waring still walks this way (he invented rugby league and played for Wigan for 2000 years before presenting it for another 1500 years on saturdays on BBC, thus ensuring that no football was ever seen on British TV, because football was bad and caused violence.) Eddie also invented “Its a Knockout” and is considered “A Bad Thing”.
Among other things Eddie said
- “That’s one ton of rugby you’re looking at there… Beef, brains, brawn, muscle…. The lot of it.“
- “He’s goin’ for an early bath.“
- “Eeee, he’s a pocket battleship.“
- “This lad’s a butcher – but I’ve never had any of his meat.“
Arsenal’s team this weekend will consist of our reserves, given that we have little chance now of winning the league…. oh hang on we’ve been playing our reserves anyway, so it will be the usual lot minus the latest injuries.
What we do need are pogo sticks so that the players can get around in the mud heap.
The team will be
Pogo Sagna Pogo Campbell Pogo Socrates Pogo Plato
Pogo Nasri Pogo Diaby Pogo Eboue
Pogo Bendtner Pogo Van Persie Pogo Vela
You may be surprised to see the inclusion of a couple of Greek philosophers, but the Lord Wenger has said that it is time to experiment a little and I think this is what he means.
This may of course be total gibberish, but hopefully there is a smile in there somewhere. And the bit about all the applications to join the league and the Scots League really is real. Really.
Billy the Dog McGraw. Publican Extraordinaire.
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