Deceased leader's era summed up in football
On the weekend following the funeral of Lady Thatcher and the outpouring of grief and love that followed her death, Wigan Athletic paid their own special tribute to the ex-Prime Minister by succumbing to a humiliating defeat, in recognition of her impact on the town and its industry.
"Thatcher will never be forgotten in Wigan, and we thought that a loss against West Ham that left us fighting for our survival was the perfect tribute," said supporters' club chairman Jason Taylor.
"She did so many things for this region," Taylor continued. "The closure of the Golborne Pit, the poll tax, 50% unemployment. We thought the best way to remember her was to put up bitter resistance against richer and stronger opposition before ultimately being forced to accept our fate."
Fans of both Wigan and West Ham brought passports and driving licenses to the match, a reference to Thatcher's desire to introduce compulsory ID cards for football fans. This hugely popular proposal never became law, to the widespread dismay of everyone within the game.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan joined forces with fellow club chairmen and Conservative Party donors Mohammed Al Fayed and John Madejski for a minute's waving of a handful of £20 notes while chanting 'loadsamoney'.
Other teams also chose to mark the passing of Margaret Thatcher. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Doncaster Rovers and Middlesbrough joined Wigan in recording symbolic losses in recognition of those towns' systematic decline throughout the Iron Lady's premiership.
Elsewhere, Blackburn Rovers prepared to sack their fourth manager this season, in tribute to Thatcher's time in office boasting the highest unemployment figures in a generation.
A Football League spokesman denied that there was any strain of anti-Thatcher feeling within football, affirming that she was as unanimously loved within the sport as she was in the rest of the country.
"Any anti-Thatcher chants you may have heard were almost certainly references to Ben Thatcher," the League confirmed, "who everyone has always hated."