Lifelong Latics fan praises club's retiree group

Bernie Green enjoys a chat with friends she has made at the Extra Time hub
Bernie Green enjoys a chat with friends she has made at the Extra Time hub

A lifelong Latics fan says the club’s retiree group has helped keep her busy following the death of her husband.

Season ticket holder Bernie Green was desperately trying to keep herself occupied after her husband Dennis, also a devoted Tic, died earlier this year.

And the opportunity to engage in a range of activities at the DW stadium with the club she has been following for 40 years was one she couldn’t turn down.

Funded by the National Lottery and Sport England and backed by the EFL Trust, Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub is an initiative aimed at making a positive difference to the lives of retired and semi-retired people across Wigan.

And for Bernie, from Hindley, the opportunity to be part of the programme has been beneficial to her and one she is really enjoying.

She explained: “I started coming after I saw an advert in the paper and it was something I was very interested in.

“I recently lost my husband six months ago and it leaves a big hole in your life, and you’re looking for something to fill it.

“I wanted something different to what I normally do.

“I felt like this was home in a way, because I’ve been coming to this stadium for so many years and had such fabulous times here.

“I’ve been following the Latics for over 40 years and seen so many ups and downs.

“I was at the FA Cup final, which was unbelievable, but it’s like having a little piece of Wigan Athletic coming here.”

Bernie has been a regular participant of Extra Time and believes it hasn’t only benefitted her but also those in a similar position across the borough.

“It’s important for togetherness for a start. We are all in the same boat and we are all looking for something to challenge us,” she said.

“Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new or do something different.

“That’s the whole point of it, to make you think in another way, not just your brain but also your body as well.

“I love chatting to everybody and doing the quizzes, they are quite the brain teasers!”

Bernie added: “I really enjoy the table tennis too, which is funny because I haven’t played it since I was little.

“I really enjoy that and of course it keeps me active too.

“I’ve made new friends coming here, and I feel like I’ve known them forever.”

Running every Tuesday between 1pm-3pm at the DW Stadium, sessions include a number of activities such as table tennis, badminton, quizzes, crafts as well as day trips out, with

participants recently attending Fleetwood Market.

For more information about the Extra Time Hub, please contact Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub Activator Christine Blundell on c.blundell@wiganathletic.com or by calling 01942 318090.