Final whistle for Wigan landlord

Eddie Duggan with wife Gil
Eddie Duggan with wife Gil

A pub landlord is set to retire after four decades at the helm of a popular Wigan watering hole.

Eddie Dugan has been in charge of the Brickmakers Arms for 40 years, but has announced he is handing over the reigns after spending almost two thirds of his life in the pub trade.

The 68-year-old said: “I think I’ve done enough now!

“I’ll miss it dreadfully, no doubt, but you can only carry on so long. I’ve had a good run, because most people want to retire in their 50s now.”

The Brickmakers Arms was Eddie’s first foray into the pub trade, taking over in 1978 after leaving behind a career in the building industry.

“In those days, you used to travel all over the place if you were in the building trade. You just got sick of travelling really - Runcorn was a long way before we had all the motorways! I was stationed between Runcorn and Chester, at the time and I had to turn out at 6.30am.”

About becoming a pub landlord for the first time, Eddie said: “I suppose it was what I expected really, but it was a bit of a culture shock, having been used to working in building then suddenly you’re tied down to a pub for seven days a week.”

These days, the Woodhouse Lane pub is particularly popular among Wigan Athletic fans, who congregate there for a pre-match pint or two.

“It’s very good, it’s a brilliant atmosphere on matchdays,” Eddie said.

“I just wish they wouldn’t keep messing about the games for weeknights, because it’s affecting with my profits!”

Eddie has seen a huge shift in pub culture in the time that he’s been in charge, such as a rise in people buying alcohol from supermarkets, longer opening hours and more recently, the nationwide smoking ban.

“The smoking ban didn’t do the pub trade any good, because people just started staying in instead,” he said.

Eddie had planned to sneak out of action on a quiet Tuesday night in April - that is until Latics’ match against Oxford United was arranged for that very same night.

He will leave the pub in control of Harry Bristow, whose sister owns the premises.

“A lot of people will be sad to see me go, but there’s only so long I can go on for,” Eddie said.

“I will miss it in a sense, I’ve been here for the best part of two thirds of my life. But I don’t want them carrying me out of here in a box!”