Latics players donate a million pounds

Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell

KIND-HEARTED Wigan Athletic players have donated a jaw-dropping £1m from their own pockets towards the town’s soon-to-be-built Boys and Girls’ Club.

The cash is from the bonus the Latics squad pocketed from retaining their Premier League status at the end of last season.

And chairman Dave Whelan – one of the brains behind the youth project – admits he has been left near-speechless by the players’ generosity.

Speaking exclusively to the Observer, Mr Whelan said: “As far as I’m aware, no other football club has ever donated to charity in the way our players are doing.

“I spoke to the Council’s Chief Executive, Joyce Redfearn, the other day, and she said she couldn’t believe the players were giving £1m to charity.

“It is a remarkable, unique gesture, and one that makes you very proud to be associated with Wigan Athletic Football Club.”

Mr Whelan revealed the decision was a unanimous one in the squad, and put to him in person by club captain Gary Caldwell.

“Roberto Martinez has built a great team spirit at the club, and he has a great captain in Gary Caldwell,” Mr Whelan added.

“Gary is a very democratic man, and very fair in what he wants to do.

“He’s been the spokesman for the team, who have backed him up, and it’s wonderful news for the whole town.”