The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - TOM PHILLIPS

Born: Brad­ford, 1936 (Age 77) Play­ing ca­reer: Dur­ing his ca­reer Dave Whe­lan man­aged to com­pete in all four di­vi­sions of the Foot­ball League. A fear­less full-back, he made his de­but for Black­burn Rovers in 1956 against West Ham at Ewood Park be­fore two years of na­tional ser­vice de­layed his first-team ca­reer. His Rovers ca­reer ended in heart­break at Wem­b­ley, where a leg­break­ing chal­lenge from Wolves’ Nor­man Dee­ley forced him out of the 1960 FA Cup fi­nal. The pro­gramme notes quoted Sir Matt Busby de­scrib­ing Whe­lan as “the most im­proved player of the sea­son”. After mak­ing 78 ap­pear­ances for Rovers, Whe­lan was sold to Di­vi­sion Four side Cr ewe in 1962, and he went onto make 115 ap­pear­ances. He re­tired in 1966, aged 30. Board­room ca­reer: Whe­lan bought Wi­gan Ath­letic in Fe­bru­ary 1995, bring­ing in the ‘Thr ee Ami­gos’ – Roberto Martinez, Isidro Diaz and Je­sus Seba – pay­ing £30m for their new home, the JJB Sta­dium (now DW Sta­dium). They won the Di­vi­sion Three ti­tle in 1997 and, with Paul Jewell as man­ager, Di­vi­sion Two in 2003 and pro­mo­tion to the Premier League in 2005. Whe­lan threat­ened to quit the club that year if the polic­ing costs for home games weren’t re­duced. He also called for West Ham to be r el­e­gated fol­low­ing the Tevez and Mascher­ano trans­fer saga and in tur n, de­manded Richard Scu­d­amore and Dave Richards’ res­ig­na­tion from the Premier League. In 2013, un­der the man­age­ment of Martinez, Wi­gan won the FA Cup, beat­ing Manch­ester City in the fi­nal.

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