A whole lot can happen in a year in football, but in just six months, Leon Balogun is experiencing the most memorable phase of his footballing career, and Wigan fans are loving him for it
Many supporters of Wigan Athletic have taken to social media site Twitter to applaud the contributions of Super Eagles defender Balogun after the former Mainz ace helped the side keep a clean-sheet in the historic 8-0 drubbing of Hull City on Tuesday night.
Balogun started the season in the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion, but after failing to feature for the side despite being fit, the Nigerian defender opted for a loan move to Wigan Athletic in January.
It didn’t look like the best of deals: a Bundesliga-trained Nigeria international heading to an uninspired Championship side losing the struggle to remain in the division.
But Balogun’s introduction coincided with the Latics upturn in fortunes; a team that had only won one of 17 games leading up to mid-January, has lost only twice in 15 matches since the beginning of February.
Earlier this month, however, the worst struck, and Wigan announced that they are in administration with the resultant penalty being a deduction of 12 points from their garnered total.
But the club received that blow to the chin impressively with the club directors working for free, the players playing on reduced wages, and a record-breaking win following all that.
An elated Balogun shared his emotions on his official Twitter account, confessing how beautiful it has been representing Wigan’s badges through one of the club’s most challenging periods.
“Back with a bang. Whatever happens: I’m proud & grateful to be part of THIS team at that time! The character of the team is simply amazing & I wouldn’t want to miss it! This win is for everybody working for, supporting, and loving this club! Up the f****** Tics,” he wrote.
Those moving words touched the hearts of the Latics fans, and they flooded his comment section with their love and admiration.
You've only been here a few months, and you're already a club legend, like every single other player in this squad. Thank you
— Nathan (@NathanAvie) July 14, 2020
— Paul Ashurst (@Ashy1977) July 14, 2020
Thank you Leon for you and the squad for not giving up. I hope you find a brilliant club after us you truly deserve it.
— Delst (@FaceOfDoh) July 14, 2020
You have been outstanding from your first game for us and I hope it will continue🤞and you and all the lads have been awsome since the restart none more so than over the last couple of weeks showing a great fighting spirit for this club.
— David Green (@Green75Daz) July 14, 2020
You've been here for a few weeks, you'll probably leave us shortly, been injured, could have ruined a move by playing tonight, but no, you play for our club, the fans, everyone. Superb Leon
— Neil Sherratt (@AbramLatic) July 14, 2020
Lucky to have you as part of this family Leon. The energy and fight that you and the lads show every single game won't be forgotten. The character of the whole team and the spirit simply is amazing just like you say. Do hope you can sign for us permanently when we're out of admin
— Joe (@fizzywhizzy2) July 14, 2020
Top player and top bloke….. hope we get a buyer and they buy you so we’re even stronger for next season fight….. Respect for playing on with no club at the end of it…. you looked Rolls Royce last night UTFT
— Trevor Jones FAPM (@TrevorJ11269951) July 15, 2020
Feel so proud of everything you boys are doing. Absolute credit to yourselves. So refreshing to see footballers that genuinely care 🥰⚽️💙#Believe
— emma (@emma69175883) July 15, 2020
Fucking love you Leon mert 🔵⚪️
— Dan (@WAFCDaniel) July 14, 2020
You're already a legend. Whether any of you are still with us after this season, you'll always be legends. Unbelievable stuff.
— Penk (@iamthepenk) July 14, 2020
Balogun may still depart the DW Stadium if Wigan gets relegated to League One at the end of the campaign.