Latics fans invited to wave players off

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FANS of Wigan Athletic will be able to wish their team an FA Cup Final farewell from Wigan North Western train station on Friday.

The club has joined with Wigan Council and Virgin Trains as part of the ‘Believe in Wigan’ campaign to give fans the chance to wave their heroes off as they begin their journey to Wembley and the biggest game in the club’s history.

The team is due to arrive at the station at 1.30 pm and fans are being advised to arrive from 12.30 pm onwards to grab a spot in a specially cordoned off area at the front of the station. For safety reasons, fans will not be permitted to enter the platform areas, unless they are travelling themselves.

The station is open for business as usual, although some traffic restrictions will be in place. Passengers travelling from the train station are advised to allow plenty of time.

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez said: “Our fans mean everything to us, so we wanted to give them this opportunity to show their support and for us to thank them before we head to Wembley. It’s fantastic the council and Virgin Trains have worked together with the club to give us this opportunity.”

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “We’re proud of the club’s achievements and the impeccable, passionate support the fans have always shown. We’re glad to have been able to work with both Virgin and the club to make the farewell happen. We believe in the club and hopefully we’ve shown that over the last few weeks through our campaign. We know they’ll put on a great show on behalf of the whole of the borough at Wembley and will show a global audience of more than 500 million why we are so proud of them.”

In addition to both teams travelling down to London with Virgin Trains, over 2,500 Wigan fans are expected to follow by the time the game kicks-off on Saturday afternoon.

Virgin Trains Station Manager Linsey Telford said “We’re really looking forward to playing our part in what should be a great occasion for everyone associated with the town. We’re delighted the team has chosen to travel to London with us and honoured to host the official farewell.

“It will be great to see the station decked out in blue and white and we know from ticket sales the trains are going to be busy. But with an additional service leaving at 8 am on Saturday morning we’re more than ready. We’ll have face painters on that train and plan to raffle off a signed Wigan shirt, with the proceeds going to the Wigan and Leigh Hospice. So we’ll ensure everyone gets to the game in good spirits.”