Father’s blessing credited with team’s cup success

Fr Sergio Haro, of St Judes RC Church, Poolstock Lane, who blessed Wigan Athletic's season
Fr Sergio Haro, of St Judes RC Church, Poolstock Lane, who blessed Wigan Athletic's season

COULD some divine intervention have helped Wigan Athletic to its first FA Cup Final?

Fr Sergio Haro certainly thinks so, after blessing the team and its pitch at the beginning of the year.

Mind you the football-loving Argentinian priest, who is currently based at St Jude’s Church in Worsley Mesnes, knows that his benediction didn’t yield instant results for the Latics whose season has been far from plain sailing.

And in fact when he blessed Roberto Martinez’s men and the DW Stadium turf on new year’s day, they immediately went on to lose 0-4 to Manchester United!

But patience and faith have been rewarded with a history-making visit to Wembley a week on Saturday.

Fr Sergio supports Rosario Central back home (Rosario is the city which produced a certain Lionel Messi, possibly the greatest ever footballer, and also 1978 World Cup star Mario Kempes).

But now he is an adopted Wiganer, he is also happy to give his full backing to the Latics.

He has met the Wigan Athletic team on several occasions and at the turn of the year, with the team already locked in a relegation battle, he gave his blessing.

The 50-year-old, whose mum, aunt and nephew had all come over from Argentina and saw the blessing and Man United game, said: “After the match when Wigan had lost 4-0 I said to Mr Martinez: ‘there is no guarantee that the blessing would be successful straight away!’

“God works in his own way and in the end it did work with this fantastic run in the FA Cup!”

Fr Sergio reminded Evening Post readers that there are strong connections between football and the Catholic priesthood in Argentina.

Pope Francis himself is a big fan of San Lorenzo de Almagro - a team which was in fact founded by a priest.

Pastoral commitments mean that Fr Sergio won’t be at Wembley on May 11 but he said he would be rooted to the television and cheering on Wigan Athletic.