‘He will always be special’: Wigan to honour Whelan ahead of key Leeds clash

Wigan Athletic supporters have been invited to arrive at the DW Stadium early tomorrow where former chairman Dave Whelan will say his goodbyes after 20 years with the club.

A special edition of the matchday programme will be available and Whelan’s speech is expected to begin around 2:40pm before Wigan play Leeds United.

Manager Malky Mackay has expressed how important Whelan has been to the Latics and how he will continue to be cherished by the club.

He said: “Goodbye to chairman but not goodbye to Mr Whelan because he’s going to be around. I hope it’s a terrific tribute, he’s an incredible man, I’ve known him a very long time but in that time I’ve got to know his values very well.

“He has impacted Wigan as a town over a period of time and he has brought success to the people of the town. The community centre is quite something; seven or eight thousand youngsters are now able to use the facilities.

“The football club has been taken from the fourth division to winning the FA Cup and his name should be stamped all over that. He will always be special.”

Whelan’s 23-year-old grandson David Sharpe will take his place as chairman and Mackay is confident that he will take the club forward and bring more success.

He added: “He’s been around here since he was a kid. He’s passionate about football, he’s passionate about making the football club better.

“He wants to recruit the best players and he wants us to have the best structure that we can and make us proud of our academy. He cares deeply about Wigan.

“It’s a transition but it’s a good transition that is in keeping with the values. He will keep us moving forward which is what I desperately want to happen.”

Wigan will be hoping to record three consecutive wins in their battle for survival in the Championship this weekend when they face Leeds United.

Both sides recorded wins over sides from East Anglia in midweek where Wigan defeated Norwich City 1-0 and Leeds United overcame Ipswich Town 2-1.

If Rotherham United lose to Huddersfield, the Latics could move to within three points of safety if they manage to win.

Main image courtesy of Wigan Athletic via YouTube, with thanks.

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