Don’t forget the Scottish Comedy FC Podcast. Subscribe/download/listen HEREIf Beanz Mean Heinz, then Heinz means Wigan. Home to the largest food processing factory in Europe, the Kitt Green factory in Wigan produces over one billion cans of beanz, hoopz, spaghettiz and soupz every year. When you fart, think of Wigan.
And that’s pretty much all Wigan is famous for, at least until this year. This year Wigan shocked the football establishment by beating oil-rich Man City in the 2013 FA Cup Final. An underdog’s triumph, a heartwarming tale capped when Ben Watson’s last-minute goal won the match at Wembley.
With that goal Wigan clinched their first trophy, their first taste of European football by qualifying for the UEFA cup, and, arguably, sealed their relegation from the Premiership when they couldn’t raise their game three days later for a must win match against Arsenal. A match they lost 4-1, confirming their relegation to the Championship.
It seems apt that Wigan’s most famous player is another underdog, who survived against the odds, and whose own tale centres on an unlikely FA Cup triumph.
On 17 November 1965, during a first round replay against Doncaster Rovers, Harry Lyon, the club’s top scorer, who had scored 67 goals the previous season, was stretchered off after 19 minutes with a suspected broken leg. But that didn’t stop him. With just a few shots of whiskey, a painkiller and heavily strapped leg, he returned to the game and went on to score a second half hat trick to win the match 3-1 for Wigan.
During his career for the Latics (short for Athletic) Harry played in almost every position, including on two occasions in goal when he conceded only one goal, a penalty. He was released at the end of the 1968/69 season and moved on to bitter rivals Chorley. But with 273 goals in just eight year, he left a legend.
Shortly after, Wigan tried to create history by applying to join the Scottish league in a publicity stunt, after repeated attempts to join the English league had failed. They applied 34 times to the English league before they were successful in 1978. Yet, just 35 years later they were crowned FA Cup winners.
With such a short history in the top flight, we can forgive them for not having an extensive songbook. With their entrance music borrowed from Hollywood (‘The Battle’ from the Gladiator soundtrack); their goal celebration music borrowed from nearly every other club as they play ‘Tom Hark’ by the Piranhas, which is used by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, Liverpool FC, Sheffield United and Ipswich town, to name a few, we were surprised they didn’t even attempt to record an FA Cup song. Perhaps they thought they had all the music they needed as Wigan already make the world toot. Instead we find the fans beat them to it by also borrowing a song from another source. This time the Fratelli’s ‘Whistle For The Choir’ which has been rewritten with new words for the cup final. This is ‘Whistle To The Lactics’.
You can download/listen/subscribe to the Scottish Comedy FC podcast HERE
About the Author
After too many years as season ticket holder at Parkhead, Andy Todd renounced the SPL three years ago to support Queens Park. One team is a rank bunch of amateurs who play in a state of the art stadium and the other is…(I think we can all see where this is going).
Andy has been performing comedy for 18 months but is currently ‘between gigs’ while he writes a book on Scottish property law to be published in Summer 2012. Its potential audience will be less than 300 but his mum will be very proud.
Follow Andy on Twitter: @toddandy
Check out Andy’s website: www.toddandy.com
Tags: Andy Todd, Championship, Dave Whelan, DW Stadium, English football, FA Cup, football, Football League, Football music, Football songs, Harry Lyon, Heinz, JJB Stadium, Jukebox Durie, Latics, Music, Premier League, Roberto Martinez, Scottish Comedy FC, Wigan, Wigan Athletic