Wigan Athletic treat fans to a blast from the past

Memories of the clubs recent history could be of great benefit to Wiganers with dementia and their families
Memories of the clubs recent history could be of great benefit to Wiganers with dementia and their families

Wigan Athletic is taking a journey through the ages to spark conversations among fans living with dementia.

Latics Memories is a new initiative launched by the club’s Community Trust, in conjunction with Wigan Council and the EFL Trust, to offer a greater outreach for dementia sufferers and their families.

Taking place at the DW Stadium once a fortnight, the free sessions have been set up with the aim of stirring the memories of fans living with dementia, by showcasing a variety of club memorabilia, historic footage, programmes and photographs.

Ian Gaskell, the project’s coordinator, said: “The idea was to spark those memories and start the conversations among each group, whether it’s about the eighties, the nineties or even the Premier League era.

“It’s been on our agenda for a while. We’ve got funding through from the council now so we put it together.

“It is for Latics fans, but football fans in general are our target audience.”

He added: “We’ve got loads of old footage, from the mid-eighties up to present day.

“There are loads of clips of goals, old matches and loads of old matchday programmes and photos.

“We’ve also had people sending in their colourised photos. Anyone can bring their own things too.”

The bi-weekly sessions start today from 3-4pm, and will take place in a DW Stadium suite overlooking the pitch. Refreshments will be provided and all sessions are completely free.

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with that number set to rise to more than a million by 2025.

That figure is predicted to soar to more than two million by 2051.

One in six people over the age of 80 have the condition, but there are also over 40,000 people under 65 living with dementia in the UK.

Around 225,000 people will develop the terminal condition this year alone, at an alarming rate of one person every three minutes.

Recent figures revealed that 2,562 over-65s in Wigan have been diagnosed with some form of the condition, but the NHS estimates that almost a thousand older Wiganers may be living with undiagnosed dementia.

For more information on the Latics Memories project, please contact Ian Gaskell on 01942 318 090 or i.gaskell@wiganathletic.com