Legend Boyce ready for a special night

Emmerson Boyce holds the FA Cup followed by Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez

Emmerson Boyce holds the FA Cup followed by Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez

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EMMERSON Boyce admits he’s relishing the opportunity to say a fond farewell to the Wigan Athletic fans tonight.

The 35-year-old will skipper a star-studded Latics legends XI in a charity match at Ashton Town FC in support of the Joseph’s Goal charity.

I know it’s not at the DW, but it’s the Wigan fans who are going to be there and it’s a nice opportunity for me to give them a clap, show my appreciation, and wave goodbye

Emmerson Boyce

The fundraiser was supposed to take place a fortnight ago against the Latics Development Squad, only to be foiled by a waterlogged pitch.

This time the Latics legends – including Roberto Martinez, Graeme Jones, Mario Melchiot, Chris Kirkland and Nathan Ellington – will face off a team of actors from the Channel 4 soap ‘Hollyoaks’.

With Boyce having admitted earlier this week he expects to move on this summer after failing to agree a new contract at the DW, he knows tonight’s clash will take on added significance.

“I know it’s not at the DW, but it’s the Wigan fans who are going to be there and it’s a nice opportunity for me to give them a clap, show my appreciation, and wave goodbye,” Boyce told the Evening Post. “It’ll be a special night for me and everyone involved, the delay with the original date has probably helped in that I’m now clearer about my future.

“To share the pitch with some real legends like Mario, Roberto and the others will be quality, and I can’t wait.

“It’s the end of a chapter but I’ll have only fond memories to look back on. I’m hoping as many fans as possible can make the trip, to not only support a great charity but also so I can say a proper goodbye.

“If I don’t get chance to play at the DW again, this is the next best thing to being able to say thanks to the fans for everything they’ve done for me.

“It’ll be nice to walk out one more time as Wigan captain and I’m looking forward to it.”

Tonight’s game looks certain to smash the attendance record at Ashton’s Edge Green Street ground which stands at 1,400, with advanced sales already beyond 1,200.

Tickets remain on sale from the DW ticket office and 0871 6633552, and it’s also pay on the gate priced £5 adults, £2 concessions and U-5s free.