The perfect end to a perfect season will take place tonight when the Latics Legends take on Arjan de Zeeuw’s Dutch Masters in the Joseph’s Goal charity game at Ashton Town FC.
Andy Liddell, for one, is relishing the opportunity of meeting up with some of his former team-mates on what promises to be an unforgettable night.
However, with Dutch Masters captain Arjan de Zeeuw on the opposite side, he admits he’ll happily wait until after the game before getting up close and personal with his former Latics and Barnsley colleague.
“I will not be playing against Arjan de Zeeuw if I can help it!” laughed Liddell, Wigan Athletic’s all-time leading Football League goalscorer with 70.
“I might be on the same pitch, but if I can get into a different post code then I will!
“I played with him at two clubs and he kicked me up in the air at both of them.
“He did it at Barnsley, and then he followed me to Wigan and did the same!
“On a serious note, he is one of the best, toughest, most professional players I ever played with or against.
“He was hard as nails, but he could also play as well, don’t worry about that.
“I’m certainly glad he was on my team for so many years, and it’s going to be great to see him again.”
Liddell, known affectionately as ‘Sir Andrew’ by the Latics faithful admits meeting up with so many familiar faces on Friday will bring back some fantastic memories – not to mention stirring up the emotions.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the lads again – I’ve not seen some of them in years,” acknowledged Liddell, who helped Latics lift the League One title in 2002/03.
“It was a great team to be part of – the dressing room was close, we all got on well, and off the field it was the same as well, it was a really good laugh.
“Football can be such a dog-eat-dog world. You join a club, you play, and then you move on.
“But when you win things at a club, you have that special feeling, that special bond, that never leaves you.
“You’ll see one of the lads around, like John Filan, and straight away you’ll be talking about the good old days.
“Your career goes by in the blink of an eye – it doesn’t seen two minutes since I was 18, 19 and just starting.
“But times like those we shared at Wigan live with you forever.”
Tickets are just £10 for adults and £5 for Under-16s, with Under-6s getting in free, and are available in person from the DW Stadium ticket office or by ringing 0871 6633552.
Fans can also pay on the gate at Ashton Town, but are advised to get there early as a capacity crowd is once again expected.
Latics Legends: Emmerson Boyce, Andy Liddell, Paul Scharner, Roberto Martinez, Graeme Jones, Kevin Sharp, Stuart Barlow, Nathan Ellington, John Filan, Michael Brown, Ian Kilford, Neil Roberts, Alan Mahon, Jason Jarrett, Nicky Eaden, David Lowe, Neill Rimmer.
Arjan de Zeeuw, Denny Landzaat, Jorg Smeets, Michael Mols (Rangers), Glenn Helder (Arsenal), Jan Krompkamp (Liverpool), Martijn Reuser (Ipswich), Andre Ooijer (Blackburn), Sander Westerveld (Liverpool), Clyde Wijnhard (Leeds), Tim De Cler, Patrick Paauwe, Orlando Engelaar, Marco Miltenburg, Zeb Den Uyl.