Latics’ Honduran connection was out in force at the club shop today as Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa were on hand to launch a limited edition poster celebrating Figs’ 60-yard goal against Stoke in December.
Attendees could also attempt to recreate the wonder strike out in the DW car park, where a training goal had been set up near the West Stand ticket office. As it transpired, not many managed to score — even from a distance ever so slightly shorter than sixty yards — though Hendry and Maynor had no problem at all.
A group of schoolkids, probably bussed in to ensure at least someone turned up on a Thursday afternoon, cheered heartily as Figueroa successfully placed the ball into the net just as he had done four months ago.
Next, it was into the DW shop where a seven-foot memorial to that strike had been erected (read: pasted over an old display) to be signed by the man himself. The guys hung around a bit longer to sign a few more shirts and autographs before being whisked off for an interview with Premier League World.
Figs points out some imperfections in his poster
A selection of the Latics squad were also present, probably for a press conference of some sort, but they were off in their fancy cars before the PR stuff began. Gary Caldwell visited the shop at around 1PM to pick up a couple of things, but I’m not sure if anyone recognised him as he had to queue like everyone else!
Maynor Figueroa signs some autographs
Rodallega, Kingson, Amaya and Diame all stopped to sign programmes and shirts for the fans who’d camped outside Rigaletto’s for half an hour. In fact, the vast majority of the Latics first team turned up, including Jason Scotland in a fetching grey tracksuit, and James McCarthy, who spared five minutes to chat with the kids from St John Fisher.
Representatives from the big media players clamoured to grab footage and the odd interview, with the likes of BBC Five Live, North West Tonight and Premier League World congregating around the players’ lounge.
Expect to see extended coverage of the event in Saturday’s matchday magazine and Latics Player, still the only Latics subscription service marginally more expensive than a kick in the nuts from Vinnie Jones. Alternatively, you could wait a couple of days until I get a short video of the afternoon uploaded to YouTube, which you’ll be able to view for free. Free I say!
Figs' new poster complete with signature, as seen in the club shop