A FOOTBALL-mad soldier is all set to swop his fatigues for a Latics shirt.
Serving squaddie Richard Hughes, 24, has organised a fun day based on the Premiership club’s away battle with Spurs at his local, Sam’s Bar in Ashton, on Saturday.
A member of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and based at barracks in Stafford, he has used the help of his mum Catherine, official chiropodist at the DW Stadium, to gather a garrison full of Wigan Athletic goods which will be auctioned off.
He has been a soldier for the last seven years, is currently a craftsman in the technical support specialist division, and has previously served in Osnabruck in Germany and Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.
The event kicks off at the Warrington Road pub with the televised match from White Hart Lane in the afternoon, and will stretch the evening with a disco and a range of fun events.
These include the signed shirts of stars from winger Albert Crusat and midfielder Ben Watson.
Richard has also agreed to subject himself to a sponsored chest wax by the women of Nina’s salon next door – along with a number of brave volunteers from the pub.
He is raising money for cancer charity Marie Curie, and is involved in a “challenge” contest called by his regimental sergeant to see which individual soldier can raise the most cash.
Many pals have pledged support, but he is hoping he will also get support from other Latics regulars who find themselves with time on their hands because their heroes are playing an away fixture.
Richard said he is also indebted to the full support of landlord Phil Ackers, who is laying on a homemade curry to spice up the action.
He said: “We are hoping plenty of Latics fans will be there to give the place a buzzing atmosphere.
“With my mum being the chiropodist at Wigan Athletic, we have got some great mementoes to auction, so we hope there is going to be a cracking atmosphere.
“We have got some tickets to raffle, some signed shirts and even a meal for two donated by Howard Gallimore for his restaurant at The Wiend.
“People can also come along and have a good laugh at my expense later in the evening when I have my chest waxed.
“And I will have to carry it through now, because I have got quite a few Latics players sponsoring me.”
He has been organising the event for the past month and hopes to raise between £500 and £1,000.