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On this day in 2007: Wigan appoint Steve Bruce

Soccer – Wigan Athletic Press Conference – JJB Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Dave Whelan hailed “one of the best young managers in the land” after confirming he had agreed a deal to lure Steve Bruce away from Premier League rivals Birmingham on November 19, 2007.

Latics secured Bruce on a four-year deal having agreed to pay Birmingham £3million compensation.

Then-chairman Whelan told Sky Sports News: “I’m delighted we’ve got him. I think he’s a big loss for Birmingham and a big signing for Wigan Athletic.”

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Wigan Athletic v Manchester City – JJB Stadium

Steve Bruce joined Wigan in 2007 (Clint Hughes/PA)

Bruce replaced Chris Hutchings, who left the club after losing seven consecutive matches.

Bruce previously managed Latics for a brief period towards the end of the 2000-01 season. Whelan’s decision was therefore made easier – despite his annoyance over Bruce’s departure to manage Crystal Palace in 2001.

Whelan added: “I was annoyed when he walked away but I didn’t give him a
contract, and he came for the last six weeks of the season.

Bruce Crystal Palace manager

Steve Bruce had previously left Wigan to join Crystal Palace (Andy Gatt/PA)

“He did a super job and got an offer from Crystal Palace, which he wanted to take. I was disappointed to lose him but I’m delighted he’s come back to us.

“He’ll be a fantastic signing for Wigan Athletic. He’s one of the best young managers in the land; I’m delighted we’ve got him – and he’ll bring enthusiasm, knowledge and spirit to our team.”