Martinez happy for Whelan to lead Wigan out at Wembley

The Latics manager says the chairman deserves what would be an "incredible moment" particularly after suffering a double leg break in the cup final 53 years ago
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez wants chairman Dave Whelan to lead the team out in next month’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Martinez believes it is fitting for Whelan, whose playing career ended 53 years ago at Wembley when he suffered a double leg break playing for Blackburn in the 1960 FA Cup final against Wolves.

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"I haven't spoken with him yet but, yes, I would let him lead the team out," Martinez told the Daily Mail.

"If he wants to do it, I would definitely do that. The chairman has put this story together. For him to be able to go to Wembley is an incredible moment and he deserves that."

Wigan were surprise semi-finalists after a shock 3-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Three goals in the space of three minutes saw the Toffees succumb to defeat against the Latics – who will now face the winner of the replay between Blackburn and Millwall.

It was a special day not just for Whelan, but for Wigan’s Callum McManaman who scored the Latics’ second of the game against his boyhood club.

McManaman was released by the Merseyside club at the age of 15 before joining Wigan, but he thinks the move has benefited his career.

"It was the best thing that ever happened to me to be honest, though it broke my heart at the time," he explained.

"It was make or break and I could have packed in but I kept on going and luckily Wigan came calling. I haven't looked back since then. This is the biggest goal I have scored."