Emma appeal is boosted by fans

Emma Hoolin arrives at Woodfield Primary School to a huge welcome from her fellow pupils pictured with her sister Lily
Emma Hoolin arrives at Woodfield Primary School to a huge welcome from her fellow pupils pictured with her sister Lily

LATICS fans who completed the ‘Walk for Emma’ earlier this year raised a staggering £18,000.

Surpassing its target for the Emma Hoolin appeal by a considerable distance the 450 or so supporters, who ditched their cars for their walking boots for the side’s game against relegation rivals Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium, have pretty much all handed over their donations.

There are still a few more pledges set to come in and with the total currently standing just below £18.000, its is expected to go over that mark quite soon.

Organiser Barry Worthington, of fan website Vital Wigan, wasn’t sure how many fans would take part when he came up with the idea.

But as word got round, the event seemed to snowball with hundreds offering to join the march on February 11.

They were all rewarded too seeing the team record a 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals.

Barry said: “It’s absolutely fantastic how much has been raised and it is a testament to everyone who got involved.

“Originally we thought that a couple of grand would be remarkable so when we were closing in on the £10,000 mark we were delighted.

“But to nearly double that is just wonderful and it says a lot about the fans of this club and how they help one of their own.

“The whole day was perfect and it was rounded off with a great win. The atmosphere was something else on the walk. Although people were aching and what not it didn’t seem to matter.”

Among the walkers were chief executive Jonathan Jackson and club legend Neill Rimmer; something Barry believes highlights what is unique about Wigan Athletic.

He added: “How many other chief executives would do that? It was remarkable to see that and sums up our club.

“The support from Latics has been fantastic right the way through and I know one of the ladies, Julie Lavin, who works at the club and took part in the walk received donations from some of the players.

“Another boost was when the coach passed the walkers and the players showed their appreciation by waving and clapping.

“Everyone still talks about the day today despite it being two months ago.

“To see Emma doing so well now back home and hearing she has started school is what it is all about though.

“We hope the money we raised can be part of helping her in her recovery process.”