Is club doomed?

Goose Green Sports and Social Club
Goose Green Sports and Social Club

ONE of Wigan’s biggest cabaret clubs is rumoured to be facing closure.

Several members have contacted the Wigan Evening Post to say that they have been told unofficially by committee members that, “short of a miracle,” Goose Green Sports and Social Club will turn off the spotlights for good after the New Year celebrations are over.

It has been suggested that the club owes “tens of thousands” to its brewery, plus the power and water utility firms, for unpaid bills.

However, the Sports and Social committee have failed to respond to newspaper calls and emails inquiring about the future of the club.

The current owner, singer John Martin of the former Central Park Riverside Club fame who now lives most of the time in Spain, has also been repeatedly unavailable for comment.

He took over the lease when its operation as Goose Green Labour Club teetered on the point of insolvency late last year. A member, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “Goose Green Sports and Social Club is closing its doors on January 4.

“One of the committee members drinks in a Goose Green pub and he was saying that the club was finished and how upset he was about it.

“The figure he was coming out with was £70,000 to £75,000 which isn’t a massive amount in the scheme of things.

“But is a lot for a club which is only just about ticking over outside of the concert nights.

“It seems only a miracle is going to save it this time.

“Although the club’s lease is owned by John Martin to allow it to be a social club and no longer a Labour Club, it is still run on a membership premise, so the committee, as far as I know, has remained the same.

“Half the money is owed to the brewery but we all know that these pub companies are as happy making money from building houses on pubs and clubs as running them, these days.

“So nobody thinks that they will be too sympathetic for too much longer.”

As Goose Green Labour Club, the venue enjoyed the reputation of being Wigan clubland’s top cabaret venue.

It also became the town’s top darts and snooker exhibition venue, hosting all the big stars in the main concert room including arrows stars like Crafty Cockney Eric Bristow or the late Jocky Wilson.

In the 1970s the club was famous for fantastic sell-out nights with Wigan’s top clubland stars, including Winston, Copper Kettle and Rainbow.

But many social clubs have been forced to close due to changing public habits and declining numbers.