Talking football: The righting of the biggest wrong in Wigan Athletic history

Never in doubt! From the moment Max Power confirmed his return to Latics last summer, it was always going to end this way.

By Paul Kendrick
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 5:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 6:01 pm

It's what he does. It's what Latics do.

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Leam junior predicted Wigan Athletic title success!

Three League One titles in three seasons here for Power (zero from three seasons elsewhere).

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Talal Al Hammad and Mal Brannigan bring out the League One title, watched by EFL chief Rick Parry

Three titles in four attempts at this level for Latics, with the other season - last year's Great Escape - easily as good in terms of relative achievement.

We've all seen the scenes of celebration in and around King Street before.

But the pictures and videos flooding our social media timelines over the last few days were as magical as any that went before.

Players and supporters singing and dancing as one underline what a special football club this is.

Coming together to right a wrong that was inflicted on them by the heinous acts of others in the summer of 2020.

It was fitting Rick Parry was on hand to oversee the handing over of the League One title at Shrewsbury.

The Latics fans certainly left him in no doubt whatsoever that the role played by him and the EFL will never be forgotten in these parts.

Hopefully Latics' promotion back to the level from which they should never have been relegated will go some way towards marking some small kind of closure on the most horrific chapter in the club's history.

Not that all of the wrongs have been righted.

The sight of Joe Gelhardt and Co excelling elsewhere - when they should still be here - will never not evoke as many feelings of 'what might have been' as pride.

And as Leam Richardson referenced in his post-match interview, the 75 members of staff who lost their jobs and livelihoods were the biggest victims of what went on.

Speaking of which, what a mark of the manager - and the man - for that to be his first thought on securing top spot.

How others could do with a lesson in humility, after being quick to big-up their own 'achievements' - which have paled in comparison with Richardson's and Latics' for the last nine months.

"All we ever did was keep our heads down, because actions speak louder than words," said Richardson on the pitch at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

A thinly-veiled acknowledgement of the stream of laughable noises from elsewhere, which served only to shine a huge light on respective fortunes.

"Most people will talk the talk, few will walk the walk," added chairman Talal Al Hammad, from the same hymn sheet.

James McClean, of course, has never been known for his subtlety...and he left no-one in any doubt as to what had helped to motivate the group.

"People in this league claimed to be the best team in the league, but they're only opinions," he said.

"Actions speak louder than words, we finished top, and that means we're the best team in the league.

"That's just me rubbing it in, and I'm absolutely delighted to do that."

Reminiscent of the timeless quote: "You come at the King, you best not miss."

McClean and Latics certainly didn't.

Enjoy the summer.