Uncle Joe makes Wembley Balls!

A VENERABLE sweet-maker has created company history for the sake of Wigan Athletic.

For the first time in more than a century, William Santus has produced black-coloured Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls.

John Winnard and brother Antony with their Wigan Athletic FA Cup Final Uncle Joe's 'Wembley Balls' sweets

John Winnard and brother Antony with their Wigan Athletic FA Cup Final Uncle Joe's 'Wembley Balls' sweets

To the uninitiated this may sound like a strange choice for chiming with the blue and white strip of the Latics in the build-up for their big day in the capital.

But of course the Wigan side will be wearing its black away kit when they take on the blue-clad Manchester City at Wembley a week on Saturday.

And in any case, Santus owners John and Antony Winnard had already produced blue and white limited edition Mint Balls for Wigan’s first club history-making trip to the national stadium when Roberto Martinez’s men beat Millwall in the FA Cup semi-final last month.

So something original was needed for something so momentous - and they came up with Uncle Joe’s Wembley Balls. John said: “Wigan Athletic getting to the FA Cup final for the first time required us to think outside the box - or should that be the sweet jar?

“Given that Wigan will be playing in black rather than the usual blue and white we thought the Wembley Balls could reflect that.

“We have never done Uncle Joe’s in black before in the company’s history.”

A limited number of jars has been produced, some of which are among the prizes in a competition run in our sister paper The Wigan Observer for a Best Dressed Business supporting the Latics.

But the Wigan Evening Post has two large jars of these rare and coveted sweets to give away to readers if they can answer the following question:

Where did Wigan Athletic play its home games before moving to the JJB (now DW) Stadium in 1999?

Answers on a postcard by Thursday May 9 to Uncle Joe’s Wembley Balls Competition, Wigan Evening Post editorial, Martland Mill Lane, Wigan WN5 0LX. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number.