'I got a bit scared after goal', admits Wigan Athletic wonderkid

Joe Gelhardt is mobbed after his goal at Hull
Joe Gelhardt is mobbed after his goal at Hull

Wigan Athletic's man-of-the-moment Joe Gelhardt admitted his first senior goal at the weekend caused him temporary panic!

The 17-year-old rescued a point for Latics at Hull with a brilliant goal, just two minutes after coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute.

It will undoubtedly be the first of many for the England Under-18 international, who has been tipped for the very top for some time already.

But he says there wasn't much thought that went into his big moment.

"I didn't think too much about it, to be honest," he told the Wigan Post.

"It was a natural finish, it didn't need thinking about, I just hit it.

"I didn't even have a celebration planned!

"It sort of threw me, I'm not gonna lie...I got a bit scared and just threw my arms up in the air!

"I can't even begin to describe how it felt.

"When I heard the fans chanting my name, I had goosebumps. It was crazy. Surreal."

While Gelhardt was the toast of the Latics fans behind the goal, he wishes there could have been a few familiar faces also present.

"Unfortunately, the one time my family didn't come to the game was the one I got my first goal!" he revealed.

"It's normally my mum, my little brother, my auntie...but they couldn't make it over today.

"Whether they're a jinx or not I don't know! But I know my mum will be gutted she wasn't here.

"She did see a clip and there was a text waiting for me after the game saying how proud she is of me.

"I still live at home...with my mum, my dad and my little brother...family means everything to me.

"Every single week, my mum and dad would take me to training and to games, without fail. That goal was for them.

"It's a bit devastating they weren't here to see my first goal - but I dedicate it to them.

"I've also had texts from a load of mates and also my Academy coaches at Wigan.

"And I've got so much to thank them for, putting me where I am today."

Gelhardt also revealed the final words from boss Paul Cook before he took to the field.

"He told me to go on and get a goal...he said: 'It's not that hard, is it?'" Gelhardt smiled.

"I was laughing as I went on to the field, but when it actually happened, it was incredible."