Wigan Athletic hero looking forward to DW return
Nick Powell admits his first return to Wigan Athletic since leaving in 2019 will be an extra special night.
The 27-year-old – a massive fan favourite during his two spells with Latics – returns to his former stomping ground with Stoke City for a pre-season friendly.
Ironically, it will mark Latics’ first game with spectators since the 0-0 draw against Luton on March 7, 2020.
And after witnessing his old club almost go out of business during the last 12 months, Powell can’t wait to revisit a stadium he once called his own.
“It’s going to be such a special night for Wigan, in terms of what they’ve gone through since the fans were last inside the stadium,” he told the Wigan Post.
“On a personal note, I’ve never actually played against Wigan at the DW Stadium, and it’ll be very nice to go back and see everyone again.”
Powell was suspended for Stoke’s visit to the DW on June 30 last year.
Not a single Latics fan will forget that game – it was the last before the club was plunged into an administration hell that lasted for nine miserable months before Phoenix 2021 Limited completed their takeover in March.
“I was obviously getting updates from the lads who were there when I was,” revealed Powell, who watched Stoke go down 3-0 against a Latics side who had all-but secured their Championship safety with the three points.
“It was quite strange because they beat Stoke the night before it broke.
“Me and Nathan Byrne were talking after the game, and we were saying ‘we’re safe, you’re safe’, and that’s the way it looked.
"And then literally the day after it all changed, with the sucker punch.
"All of a sudden it’s ‘what’s going to happen to the club, are they getting paid, is there going to be a points deduction’.
“They went from being safe to almost certain relegation in a few hours, and I think the worst thing about it was it was so out of the blue.
“They were on such a great run, and I remember the same thing happened the year before, and it’s such a great feeling of knowing you’ve achieved your goal.
“To have that suddenly taken away from you, after all that hard work, it must be just the worst feeling you can have.
“But the fact they never give up – on and off the pitch – has always been the key thing about Wigan.
“The way everyone came together to stand together – when people weren’t even getting paid, and their futures were unclear – and keep going spoke volumes.”
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