Latics ban fan of two teams

Julie Latham and her mother-in-law Mary who wanted to buy tickets for the Wigan Athletic v Manchester United game as a surprise 50th birthday present for Julie's husband Michael but the ticket office refused them when Julie said he supported both teams

Julie Latham and her mother-in-law Mary who wanted to buy tickets for the Wigan Athletic v Manchester United game as a surprise 50th birthday present for Julie's husband Michael but the ticket office refused them when Julie said he supported both teams

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A FOOTBALL fan has been banned from Latics’ match with Manchester United ... because he supports both teams!

Julie Latham wanted to buy tickets as a surprise 50th birthday gift for husband Michael to visit the DW Stadium with his 72-year-old dad, Harry.

But Mrs Latham, from Winstanley, and her mother-in-law Mary were refused at the club’s Robin Park ticket office when they admitted Michael follows both Wigan and United.

Mr Latham’s last three games at the DW Stadium had been to watch Latics take on Sir Alex Ferguson’s side but they were told that the home stands were exclusively for Wigan-only supporters.

Mrs Latham said: “I was really shocked, I couldn’t believe what was being said. This would have been Michael’s fourth game and he’s never been refused before.

“Michael is a general football fan rather than a supporter of one team and he’ll watch any game on TV.

“I can’t understand why someone who is nearly 50 and a 72-year-old would not be allowed to watch a game between two teams they follow. They’re hardly troublemakers who are looking to get their head pummelled in.

“I thought Wigan was a family club which encouraged people to go along to watch their games, not turn them away.”

Wigan Athletic are expecting one of their biggest attendances of the season when they take on current league leaders Manchester United on February 26.

Mr Latham’s family had planned to buy tickets for the game, which is two days after his birthday.

Michael’s mum Mary Latham, from Beech Hill, said: “I was disgusted because Dave Whelan is always calling for more support for the club.

“It’s a real let down because it’s ruined a surprise birthday day present.

“Michael and Julie regularly attended games at DW Stadium before the birth of their daughter when Wigan were first promoted.

“We wanted to buy tickets whoever Latics were playing because it was to celebrate Michael’s birthday.”

A Wigan Athletic spokesman said: “The club has a duty of care to our supporters to keep the home stands safely segregated, especially when so many of our fans are under 16.

“This is an issue that gets highlighted when we play against teams with supporters who live in the Wigan area.

“We don’t suggest that Mr Latham would cause any trouble but we cannot make exceptions alas.

“His ticket buying history suggests he follows Manchester United as these are the only games he has previously bought for.

“We apologise for the inconvenience. Hopefully Mr Latham will want to come and watch his team play against other opposition sometime in the future.”