THE STAFF ROOM
A perfect 10 of former and current Wigan Athletic staff members have played, coached or managed with our next opponents Norwich City.
There are links aplenty between them as well and we start with one of the current members of Latics’ backroom, who starts of a chain reaction.
Canaries Legend Kevin Reeves who made over 100 appearances for the club from 1997-1980 works as Roberto Martinez’s Chief Scout here at Wigan Athletic.
Reeves was signed for Norwich by former Latics assistant John Bond in 1977, another of Bond’s players at Carrow
Road was John Benson who played 30 times for the Canaries in the mid-1970s.
Their connection would continue throughout their careers, with Benson working under Bond at Norwich in 1979 as a youth coach and also scout.
Benson was placed in temporary charge of Wigan Athletic in 1999 and led the club to the Division Two play-off final against Gillingham at Wembley.
Before the 3-2 extra time defeat, Benson had already indicated that he would not be taking up the role permanently.
He went on to work for the club in the mid-to-late 2000s as General Manager and Director of Football.
After stepping down in 2000 from managerial duty the gap was filled by former Norwich manager Bruce Rioch.
Appropriately (by name), Steve Bruce was the following Latics manager after Rioch’s short spell in charge.
The former Norwich defender who made over 100 appearances for the club and is a Norwich City Hall of Famer also only had a brief spell but, returned in 2007 bringing with him former Canaries’ players and his old team mates Dave Watson and Keith Bertschin to his backroom staff.
Another former team mate of theirs was John Deehan.
Deehan played for Norwich from 1981-86, winning the League Cup in 1985 and the Second Division title in 1986.
He went on to be Mike Walker’s assistant at the club in 1992 as Norwich recorded their best ever league finish in the inaugural season of the Premier League and eventually took over Walker after his departure at the end of that season.
Deehan left Norwich before the end of 1994/95 season and took over the reins at Springfield Park, leading Latics to promotion into Division Two before leaving to become Steve Bruce’s assistant manager at Sheffield United.
The season that Deehan left Norwich would be followed by Latics’ Interim Academy Manager and former player Matt Jackson’s arrival at Carrow
Jackson spent five years at Norwich making over 150 appearances and during that spell, from April to December 2000 he was managed by former Wigan Athletic manager Bryan Hamilton.