WIGAN Athletic players will wear a unique Wigan Youth Zouth-sponsored shirt during their Europa League game in Russia.
The moment the players step out for their match tonight (Thursday) against Rubin Kazan will be a proud one for fans and also for Wigan Youth Zone.
Because, thanks to Russian football regulations, Latics won’t be allowed to wear their usual strip due to it having the name of betting company 12bet emblazoned across the front of it.
So that left the club with the choice of either playing in a shirt with just the club badge or choose the name of a local charity and Latics chairman Dave Whelan opted for the Youth Zone straight away. Mr Whelan has been one of the major backers of the facility alongside cousins Martin and Bill Ainscough.
As well as the Kazan game, the kit will also be worn during the game against NK Maribor in Slovenia on December 12.
Wigan Youth Zone development manager Simon Baker said: “It’s great that the Youth Zone will get such amazing exposure. Wigan Athletic have always offered us such great support and obviously the players made such a huge contribution to the capital of this place too.
“Owen Coyle came down for the first time the other week and he absolutely loved the place.
“He and his coaching staff spent time speaking to and coaching young people and I’m sure we’ll see more of them and the players in the future.”
The Youth Zone held a special Russian-themed day when Latics played Kazan at the DW Stadium two weeks ago. They are hoping for a similar crowd tonight when they broadcast the game to the youngsters in their recreational area.
Simon added: “We always show the games and last week we invited some other young people down from other Youth Zones to watc, I think we had about 60 people down here in total.”