Liverpool v Wigan Athletic (02/01/2008) - Double Agents
Monday, 31st December 2007
In advance of only our third ever League visit from Wigan Athletic on Wednesday evening, YNWA looks at the careers of some of those who have represented both the Latics and the reds.

Ex-reds at the JJB
Emile Heskey made the switch from Birmingham City to Wigan for £5.5m in July 2006 and has so far notched ten times in 46 outings, but has yet to score for the Latics against the reds. He had joined the reds from Leicester City for a then club record £10.5m in March 2000, and struck sixty goals in 223 games, helping us to claim the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Super Cup before moving to St. Andrews for £6.25m in May 2004. Chris Kirkland joined the Latics on loan in July 2006, before signing permanently last October for a reported £3.5m. He had only appeared 45 times between our sticks, while suffering from a succession of injuries, after signing from Coventry City for £6m in August 2001. He has so far kept just ten clean sheets in 44 appearances for Wigan.

Centre-back Alex Cribley moved to Wigan in November 1980 after failing to make the grade at Anfield. He spent eight years with the Lancashire side, nabbing eighteen goals in 328 games before retiring due to injury and becoming a physio. He remains in this role, and has now been employed by Wigan for more than two decades. Stuart Welsh has been a masseur at Melwood, having formerly held a similar post with Wigan.

The management
Scouser Paul Jewell was a reserves forward at Anfield in the 1980's. He never made our first-team, and moved on to Wigan for £15,000 in December 1984. He struck 35 times in 137 games before joining Bradford City for £80,000 in July 1988. He returned to Wigan as Manager in June 2001 and led them to the Second Division title in his second season and then promotion to the Premiership, where they finished in tenth position in their first campaign. They just survived the drop in their second outing in the top flight, and Jewell stepped down in May, having led them to a total of 127 victories in 291 games in charge. Mark Seagraves was until recently Reserve Team Manager at the JJB Stadium. He only made two reds appearances before joining Manchester City in September 1987.

Larry Lloyd is one of the rare breed to leave Anfield in his prime and go on to better things - helping Nottingham Forest to claim two European Cups, one League title and the League Cup. He had won League and UEFA Cup medals in his five years at Anfield, appearing 218 times. Wigan was his final club, for whom he played 52 League games, before taking over as Manager in March 1981. He was sacked two years later, having led them out of the basement division in his only full season.

Chris Lawler struck 61 times in 549 reds appearances, helping us to win two League titles, an FA Cup and the UEFA Cup. He had signed pro forms in October 1960, and eventually left the club fifteen years later to join Portsmouth. After he retired from playing, he had a spell as Assistant Manager at Springfield Park, Wigan's former home.

Gordon Milne resigned in June 1972 after two years in charge as Wigan's Player/Manager. He led them to the Northern Premier League title and Lancashire Floodlit Cup in his first season in charge, but the Latics were then denied entry to the Football League. He had made 282 appearances at right-half in seven years at Anfield in the 1960's, bagging eighteen goals and helping us to claim the League title twice, as well as the Second Division championship.

Full-backs for both clubs
Alan Kennedy played 22 Third Division games for Wigan in 1987/88 before joining non-League Northwich Victoria. He had joined the reds for £330,000 from Newcastle United in August 1978 and is best remembered for his winning strikes in two European Cup Finals. He also won five League titles and four League Cups, playing 359 times and scoring twenty goals in his seven years at Anfield. 1970's left-back Brian Kettle only made four senior appearances in seven years at Anfield, as his route to the first-team was blocked first by Alec Lindsay, then Joey Jones and fellow double agent Alan Kennedy. He struck once in fourteen matches for the Latics in the basement division in 1980/81 after arriving from Liverpool via Houston in the USA.

Up front
Neil Mellor bagged six goals in 22 senior reds games, and joined the Latics on loan in January 2006 for the rest of the season, having just returned from a double knee injury. He struck in the last minutes of his debut to hand Wigan a 3-2 victory at Middlesbrough, but failed to score again as he played another four times. He left Anfield for good in August 2006, signing for Preston North End in a reported £0.5m deal. Ex-reds reserve Paul Dalglish joined Wigan Athletic on loan from Norwich City in March 2001. He played six times for the Latics, and returned for a season-long loan that August, scoring twice in thirty appearances for the then-Second Division side. Colin Russell struck three times in eight Third Division outings for Wigan in 1988/89 after arriving from Scarborough. He then moved into non-League football with Burscough.

Mike Newell is another former reds attacking reserve who later played his football at Springfield Park. He arrived from Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer in October 1983 and struck 35 times in 92 games for the Latics, before moving on to Luton Town for £100,000 in January 1986. Wallasey-born forward John Sealey only played one senior reds game, scoring in our final League game of 1964/65, as we prepared for the FA Cup Final by resting many senior players. He moved on to Chester in June 1966, and joined Wigan two years later. Also playing his only game in that fixture was keeper Billy Molyneux. He was later an amateur with Wigan, after a spell with Oldham Athletic. Centre-forward Jack ‘Nipper' Roberts signed for the reds from Southport in May 1933, but only played once before moving to Wigan the following June.

David Fairclough bagged 55 goals in 154 reds games, two-fifths of which were from off the bench. The ‘bionic carrot' helped us to three League titles, three European trophies and two League Cups in his nine years at Anfield. He struck once in seven League outings for the Latics in 1990/91, one of his final clubs. Derek Brownbill came through the junior ranks before signing pro forms in January 1972. He only made one senior appearance before joining Port Vale in February 1975. He then struck eight times in 48 League games for Wigan at the end of the decade, his final League club. Centre-forward Louis Bimpson ended his professional career with Wigan. He had scored 39 reds goals in his 102 first-team appearances after signing on a free transfer from Burscough in January 1953.

Other double agents
Wing-half Bobby Campbell only made 25 first-team appearances for the reds at the end of the 1950's, and moved on to Wigan in 1961. Tony Kelly had two spells with Wigan, bagging fifteen goals in 101 League games in his first spell in the mid-1980's following his signing from Prescot Cables, who he had signed for having been released by the reds. He joined Stoke City in 1986, and returned to Lancashire from Peterborough United thirteen years ago. He only played two League games in this second period with Wigan. Winger Kevin Lewis played 82 games in his three years at Anfield after signing from Sheffield United for £13,000 in June 1960, scoring an impressive 44 times. He ended his career as an amateur with Wigan.

Stéphane Henchoz arrived for £3.5m from Blackburn Rovers in June 1999, and made a total of 205 reds appearances, forming a rock-solid partnership with Sami Hyypiä and helping us to claim five trophies in 2001 and another League Cup two years later. He joined Celtic on a free transfer in January 2005, and returned to England with Wigan six months later. He made 32 appearances for the Lancashire side before re-joining Rovers in September 2006 having been released by the Latics. David Thompson scored five times in 56 reds games before Gérard Houllier sold him for £3m to Coventry City in August 2000. He joined Wigan on a short-term contract from Blackburn Rovers in January 2006, netting on his debut at Middlesbrough. He turned out just nine more times for the Latics, joining Portsmouth six months later.

Left-back Steve Hollis played one League game for Wigan in 1993/94, having previously been on our books. He did not make a first-team appearance for the reds, but was on the bench for our UEFA Cup tie at Swarovski Tirol in November 1991. Right-back Bill Shepherd made 58 reds appearances after joining from Elm Park in December 1945. He returned to amateur football when he joined Wigan in 1952. Keeper Billy Stewart left Anfield to join the Latics after failing to make the break-through, playing fourteen League games across 1984/85 and the following season. He then moved on to Chester. Other double agents include short-lived 1930's centre-half Allenby Chilton, who guested for Wigan during the Second World War, defender David Collins who played nine League games on loan from the reds during 1991/92, and 1950's forward Bobby Murdoch, who bagged seven goals in nineteen reds games.

LFC Wire
LFC Post   LFC Live
 Other News
 On this day in Liverpool history