Caldwell pays tribute to retiring Whelan

Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan

WIGAN Athletic Club Captain Gary Caldwell has paid an emotional tribute to Dave Whelan.

Mr Whelan, 78, broke the shock news this morning (Tuesday) and has handed the reins of the club over to grandson David Sharpe.

Caldwell, who has been sidelined with injury for most of the season said: “Everyone connected with Wigan Athletic owes Dave Whelan a lot.

“What he’s done for this football club will live with us forever.

“He feels it’s the right time to be handing over to David Sharpe and we all wish him good luck to him moving forward.

“He’d come into the dressing room before and after a game, offering encouragement to the boys, and we appreciated that.

Dave Whelan being stretchered off at Wembley after breaking his leg in the 1960 FA Cup Final playing for Blackburn Rovers

Dave Whelan being stretchered off at Wembley after breaking his leg in the 1960 FA Cup Final playing for Blackburn Rovers

“The achievement in taking the club from the fourth tier to the Premier League and into Europe was incredible - I doubt we’ll see that happening again.

“Not only the team but the town as a whole owes him a lot, and the club and the stadium are his legacy.

“It’s a sad day but we should be thankful he chose Wigan Athletic to throw his support behind and for all the good times.”

The achievement in taking the club from the fourth tier to the Premier League and into Europe was incredible - I doubt we’ll see that happening again

Gary Caldwell