Roberto Martinez spoke of his pride for the town of Wigan and his Chairman Dave Whelan, after Wigan Athletic’s stunning 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup Final.
Thousands of Wiganers descended upon Wembley Stadium to see their team take part in our first ever FA Cup Final, and they weren’t to be disappointed after Ben Watson’s injury-time winner brought the cup home for the first time.
Speaking after the match, Martinez hoped the entire town would be proud of its football team’s achievements, highlighting the role played by fans in sending the team off on Friday to urging them on during the game on Saturday.
He said: “The FA Cup is the most prestigious cup competition in the world, and for Wigan Athletic to win it is an incredible achievement.
“The whole occasion has made me immensely proud of the entire town, which has come together to support its football team and probably been the only people who believed we could do it.
“We see the players every week reach such high standards, and we know they are capable of results like this one, but sometimes you don’t get the rewards you deserve for one reason or another.
“Today (Saturday), everything came together and we’ve won the FA Cup, something everyone associated with the club should be very proud of.
“At one end of the pitch you had the reigning English champions with such heavy investment in their club and a record of silverware which will continue after this game.
“But I thought our fans were the ones ready to push that little bit more and make the difference, and now is the chance for them to relax as champions and reflect on being a part of something quite unique; both for Wigan Athletic and for football.”
Watson is the man who’ll claim the headlines, and Martinez couldn’t have been happier for his midfield talisman, who he believes sets a real example following the season he’s had personally:
“Everyone ruled him out for the season when he broke his leg at Anfield, but his rehabilitation work is an example for any youngster to follow.
“He wanted to come back before the end of the campaign and help the team, he wanted to defy the odds and he wanted to play in the Final.
“He came off the bench and I thought he made a good impact before his goal, but that moment is the reward he deserves.
“Many players get their rewards daily, in training, away from the cameras and spotlight. But Ben has his place in history know and a moment he’ll use as a massive boost.”
Finally, there was of course a word on Chairman Dave Whelan, whose 53-year wait to get his hands on the cup finally came to an end at the final whistle.
Martinez said: “I’ve seen Hollywood films with worse scripts than his story! 1960 was a life-changing moment for him and left him with unfinished business.
“His vision, work and financial backing has made all of this possible, and I couldn’t have been prouder than when I saw him leading his team out at the start of the day, and holding the cup at the end.”