Farewell to ‘Mr Wigan Athletic’

Brian Sabin is presented with the Latics 'Fan of the Year' award by Roberto Martinez
Brian Sabin is presented with the Latics 'Fan of the Year' award by Roberto Martinez
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The Wigan Athletic family is mourning the loss of ‘Superfan’ Brian Sabin, who died on Monday morning at Wigan Infirmary.

Former Latics secretary, and lifelong fan, Stuart Hayton pens his own personal tribute...

“Brian Sabin was quite simply Mr Wigan Athletic.

Living in Springfield, he was a local and regular visitor to the club in our Springfield Park days.

He never missed a home or away game, attended all the reserve games and was at every Latics event - from Player of the Year nights to AGMs, he was there.

He’d be propping up the bar in the old Supporters’ Club late into the evening after a Saturday game.

If you travelled by coach to a Latics away game, he was always first on the coach and sat on the front seat.

A friend to everyone who supported Latics, and always with a great tale to tell or a bit of juicy gossip about the next transfer target.

He was the social media of his generation.

He loved to correct the journalists of the time as well.

He used to have a hotline to the Wigan Observer to berate Tony Dawber if he disagreed with the slightest detail of his match report from the previous game.

A big friend to players and referees, he loved to buy them a pint after the game, while he enjoyed his Grouse whisky.

David Allison, the current Head of Referees at the EFL, would always ask whether Brian around when he visited Wigan.

Their relationship developed, so much so that David would send Brian a Football League tie each year.

Brian was also a big Lancashire cricket fan, and could be found in the summer months in the Old Trafford pavilion chastising umpires’ LBW calls as they came off for tea.

Always saving his most vociferous tongue lashings for any umpires from Yorkshire.

A big character, he will be sadly missed by all Latics fans of my generation as he was a link to the past.

Back to our childhood, when following a less than successful Latics team around the country was always in the company of Brian Sabin.”

Former Latics players have also expressed their sadness via social media.

Kevin Sharp wrote: “Terrible news!! Great guy Sabes!! Always a pleasure to hear his honest opinion in the bar after a game!”

Barry Knowles wrote: “Great character RIP Brian.”