Shaun Goater’s handball and our friend Stuart Attwell

Shaun Goater

Stuart Attwell






Latics visit Eastlands on Saturday evening for a high-profile fixture against one of the wealthiest clubs in world football. Manchester City currently lie third in the table and Wigan are now rock bottom. City’s lavishly assembled team of superstars will make it difficult for us, but there may also be other factors that come into play.

Back in May 1999 Wigan lost to Manchester City in the Second Division play-offs due to a poor refereeing decision – a blatant handball by the City striker Shaun Goater.  The reason I mention this is that after the Rooney/Clattenburg fiasco last week we now have to contend with another referee with a reputation for making bizarre decisions.

Stuart Attwell is refereeing the game despite controversy in the fixture last year. Last season’s fixture resulted in Roberto Martinez being fined and warned as to his future conduct after criticising Attwell’s performance in Latics’ 3-0 defeat. Roberto was incensed by the second-half sending off of Gary Caldwell for a tackle on Carlos Tevez and later accused Attwell of lying over the reasons for the dismissal.

Martinez commented at the time, “We are all human beings and we all make mistakes, but to give a decision after something you don’t see, that is lying, you are making it up,”

“He said he saw Gary Caldwell with both feet off the ground. That’s why he gave the red  card. But Gary Caldwell only went with one foot. That is a real injustice.”

It was a rare outburst from Martinez and it cost him £2,250 as the FA hit him with a fine.

Attwell was also involved in the famous ghost goal, when he awarded a goal to Reading against Watford, despite the ball being four yards wide of the goal post.

Wigan didn’t have any luck in the 1999 play off semi final when Goater handled the ball, so maybe it is time for fortune to favour us and a certain Mr. Attwell to perform his duties impeccably.


About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Manchester City, Wigan Athletic. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shaun Goater’s handball and our friend Stuart Attwell

  1. peter y says:


    have you only just woken up to the fact that referees are starstruck, big clubs get all the decisions, it is pathetic but true. then they go completely irrational and gift chelsea a game to compensate for the idiotic decision about rooney v latics, truly pathetic.

  2. ianhaspinall says:

    Starstruck is a good word to describe Clattenburg, Dowd, Attwell etc. I’d hoped for some even handedness but it looks like we are now stuck with Referees kowtowing to the megarich teams.

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