On Thursday 11th August, I visited Wigan Athletic’s DW Stadium for the first time. I also made a visit to the site where the clubs original ground Springfield Park once stood.
Wigan Athletic became a Football League club in 1978, replacing Southport whose ground I had actually visited just hours earlier! Up until 1999 the club played at Springfield Park before they moved to the DW Stadium.
With Chairman Dave Whelan and a new stadium, Wigan reached the Premiership for the first time in their history in 2005. The club has remained in the top flight ever since despite being one of the favourites for relegation every season. Their highest finish was an impressive 10th in the 2005-06 season, their first in the Premiership.
We decided to visit both Wigan’s current and former grounds, first visiting the DW Stadium. The ground looked impressive, but with the 4 stands all quite large and almost identical it lacked a bit of character to really make it stand out. However, I still enjoyed visiting the DW Stadium and it is another Premiership ground that I visited.
After looking around the DW Stadium, we decided to find the site where Springfield Park once stood. The ground was demolished in 1999 and the land is now occupied by a Housing Estate. The only reminder that the area used to be a football ground is one of the road names is named after Wigan Athletic legend Harry Lyon, who holds the record for Wigan of the most goals scored in a season (66) and the most goals scored (273). Apart from that, there is nothing left at Springfield Park to remind you that there was once a football ground on the site.