Wigan Athletic were deeply saddened to hear the news that former Assistant Manager John Bond has passed away at the age of 79.
The former West Ham United defender and Manchester City Manager came out of retirement in 1999 to assist then Latics boss John Benson in our first season at the newly-built JJB Stadium, helping the Club reach the Division Two Play-Off Final against Gillingham, a game that ended in a 3-2 defeat.
John, whose son Kevin played under him at Man City and served as Assistant Manager at Tottenham Hotspur last season, began his career at West Ham in 1950, making over 400 appearances for the Hammers during his 16 years at Upton Park before joining Torquay United, where he would finish his playing career in 1969.
His managerial career was a long and successful one, leading Bournemouth to promotion from Division Four in 1971 and taking Norwich City back to the top flight in 1974, as well as the League Cup Final that same year.
Maine Road was his next destination in 1980 to take the helm at Manchester City, leading a team that featured current Wigan Athletic Chief Scout Kevin Reeves to the 1981 FA Cup Final, where Ricky Villa and Tottenham Hotspur triumphed 3-2.
Spells in charge of Burnley, Swansea City, Birmingham City, Shrewsbury Town and Witton Albion would follow before John arrived at the JJB in 1999 for his final role in football.
Current Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez said of John:
“It was a pleasure to have known John, when he arrived at Wigan Athletic he brought his charisma into our training work.
“I always found his approach to be innovative, inspirational and well ahead of where the game was at during that time.
“Our thoughts as a football club are with John and his family, and especially his son Kevin at this difficult time.”
Assistant Manager Graeme Jones also spoke affectionately of his memories playing under John, saying:
“John was a great coach, ahead of his time really, but more importantly he was a great guy.”
Former Latics Captain Colin Greenall paid tribute to John, saying:
“As a young coach making my way in the game his advice was worth its weight in gold. Most importantly he made us all laugh with his football stories and was brilliant for keeping morale high.”
To John's family, friends and all who knew him, the Club extends our deepest sympathies.