Antolin Alcaraz of Wigan Athletic is mobbed by his team mates after scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic at Ewood Park.
Well last night we confirmed officially that we would be going into yet another Premier League season. There has been a lot of media coverage around the club recently talking about how well we have been doing (the players) and how Roberto Martinez has turned the club round tactically, while Whelan has backed the manger every step of the way.
Now how may that all be true, and it really is! This could very well be the side we always felt Martinez could produce with a heart of gold and that open passing style of football, that we were promised and have emphatically got. Not just off the manager in principle, but now the players in practice.
But their is one piece of the puzzle missing. And that is the 17,000 odd strong supporters that make up Wigan Athletic. That is counting fans within the region of Wigan who attend games we are now after all a multi-national team. Lets be proud of that first and foremost. What I was getting at, is the strength of the fans. The supporters haven't wavered and we have kept coming to the games.
Something I believed as been missed by the media!
We may not be strong in numbers. But by god we are strong in soul and passion for our club. And that shows it in just about everything we have ever done as supporters. In the 80 years as a football club, we have achieved for some clubs which has taken over a 100 years And in our 80th season we will take to the field in our 8th Premier League season.
Who would have thought it?
That is in no small part thanks to the fans, who generation after generation have and will continue to support and follow our beloved Wigan Athletic come rain, come shine, come the miles they move away. It is a bond for life, a man (and women) and their football club, and one we in Wigan take seriously.
And really our continual faith was one of the things that kept the lads going. I can go back to the game against Everton in February, were our fantastic run started, the fans still came, and we still cheered and shouted the team on. And from their we became one, the 12th man if you will. The fans react to the players poor performances and lifted them when they fell down and cheered them on when they were on top.
The Manchester United game was a perfect example of this. We took control of the game for large parts. But when United put us under pressure, we got behind the lads and spurred them on to victory.
And that is where I come back to the title of this article. The chant we adopted for this season's survival race was very fitting. There were others (Seven years in the Premier League, and we shall not be moved is another great example), but 'I am a Believer' stood out as the one and there have been 17,000 believers this season, who have pushed a team that against all odds to keep its Premier League place.
Take it away Donkey!