Footballer's dream cup tie against his favourite team

Andy Bond
Andy Bond

Andy Bond grew up in Whelley dreaming, like many of his friends, of playing for Wigan Athletic at Wembley.

But tonight (Friday) the 31-year-old Fylde captain will be doing everything he can to dump his boyhood favourites out of this season’s FA Cup!

Bond, a former pupil at the Deanery High School, even played for Junior Latics between the ages of 10-12, before being scouted by Crewe – two divisions above Wigan at the time.

An eventful footballing journey has since taken him to Lancaster, Barrow, Colchester, Crewe (again), Bristol Rovers, Chester, Stevenage, Chorley, Crawley and Fylde.

But he admits the dream clash against the 2013 winners will be the highlight of his career.

“Of all the teams left in the draw, Wigan would have been the one I wanted, without a shadow of a doubt,” Bond told Wigan Today.

“When I saw them pulled out of the hat, being a Wigan lad, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’ve got plenty of family and friends who are coming...and they’ll all be in the home end!

“One of two of my neighbours are Latics fans, and they’ve been wishing me all the best this week – but I know they’ll be rooting for Wigan.

“I’m sure I’ll know a few lads in the away end, but I won’t mind upsetting them if we can get a result.

“And if the chance comes along for me to score, I’ll be putting it away – don’t you worry about that!”

Midfielder Bond, who lives in Aspull with wife Sophie and four-year-old son Joseph, is also looking forward to coming up against David Perkins – his former housemate and private chef at Colchester!

“When I moved down there I rented a flat, and Perks was living opposite in a B&B,” Bond remembers.

“He ended up just moving in with me...I won’t go into what he was like as a housemate, we’ll leave that there!

“What I can say is he likes to sleep a lot – that’s probably why he’s so fit!

“In fact, he’s the fittest player I’ve ever played with – he’s absolutely unbelievable, so much energy.

“He liked to watch a lot of TV, which suited me as I’m also a quiet lad, I keep myself to myself, so we got on well.

“He also used to cook for me...pasta bake was his speciality, the day before a game, and it was very good!

“Bearing in mind I couldn’t cook at the time, it was great to have him moving in and making my tea.

“I tried to get in touch with Perks when he left Colchester, but he’s one of those, he never replies to texts. I’ll pick him up on that when I see him!”

If fate had determined otherwise, Bond and Perkins may have been team-mates in the visitors’ team tonight.

“I was a massive Latics fan as a kid – I had a season ticket for a while,” Bond admitted.

“They were my team – through and through – and I used to love training there under Barry Knowles and Dave Crompton, training on the astroturf at the back of Springfield Park.

“My heroes at the time were Roberto Martinez, Graeme Jones, Isidro Diaz and Darren Sheridan – who funnily enough ended up as my manager at Barrow!

“I went to Wembley twice with Latics – I saw them win the Auto Windscreens Shield in 1999, and lose to Gillingham in the play-off final in 2000 – before I signed for Crewe.

“I dreamed of playing for Latics, but it wasn’t to be.”

Bond is well and truly in the Fylde corner tonight, however, and – with the BBC cameras in town – he says a cup upset is not beyond the realms of possibility.

“I’d like to think we can pull off a shock,” he added.

“If everyone plays to their full potential we’re in with a shout.

“We’ll see which Wigan team turns up, and which Fylde team turns up.

“We’ve been watching videos of them all week, taking that into training and hopefully that will pay off.

“I suppose the best-case scenario for me would be take it back to Wigan, at the DW, and win it there.

“But to win on Friday, in front of the TV cameras, that would be nice, we’ll take that!

“The whole town’s been buzzing, and everyone’s excited about a big club like Wigan coming to Fylde.

“It’s great for the town and great for the club.

“I just hope we get the result that we want.”