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Wigan v Reds: Where Are They Now?

17 February 2014

Tomorrow the Reds visit Wigan Athletic's DW Stadium for the first time since May 2003.

It was Barnsley's only visit to Wigan Athletic’s new stadium almost 11 years ago - having last played on Wigan's home turf at Springfield Park in August 1990.

The Reds lost 1-0 to the Latics – who celebrated promotion to the second tier by reaching 100 points - on Saturday 3rd May, 2003.

We take a look at the Reds’ starting XI that day, that lost 1-0 to a Tony Dinning strike on 13 minutes, and see where they are now…

Matthew Ghent (Goalkeeper)

Burton-on-Trent born goalie joined the Reds from Forest Green Rovers and made his last of nine appearances for Barnsley in this match against Wigan. He graduated from Aston Villa’s Academy but never made an appearance for the senior side before heading to Lincoln City. After his handful of appearances for Barnsley, he had short spells with Sutton Town, Tamworth, Solihull Moors and Rushall Olympic. The 33-year-old is no longer involved in football.

Neil Austin (Defender)

Barnsley-born full-back progressed through the Oakwell Academy before turning professional with the Reds. ‘Ozzy’ made his début for the Reds at the age of 19 against Swindon on the opening day of the 2002/03 season and would go on to make 165 appearances for his boyhood side. During the 2005/06 League One promotion season, Austin had made 45 appearances for the Reds but was ruled out of the Play-Off matches due to a torn hamstring. He departed to join Darlington in June 2007 and spent two years with the Quakers before heading to Hartlepool United – where he still is today at the age of 30.

Chris Morgan (Defender)

Tough central-defender who was one of a number of players nurtured by Barnsley legend Eric Winstanley in the mid-90s at Oakwell. Morgan, born in Dodworth, turned professional in July 1996. He made his Reds debut in the Premier League – a 6-0 defeat at West Ham – and went on to make 212 appearances for Barnsley before leaving for Sheffield United in the summer of 2003. With the Blades he appeared 281 times, scoring 16 goals, before retiring in 2012. The 36-year-old has taken Caretaker charge of United on two occasions and is still a Coach at Bramall Lane today.

Robbie Williams (Defender)

Full-back Robbie Williams turned professional at Oakwell in July 2004 having progressed through the Barnsley Academy. Robbie made his début at Brentford in October 2002 and would go on to feature another 77 times for Barnsley, scoring five goals – his first a penalty against Sheffield Wednesday in March 2004. The full-back, who also featured for the Reds on the left-wing and in central-midfield, had a short but successful loan spell with Blackpool – scoring a fine free-kick at Wembley in the 2007 League One Play-off Final for the Seasiders in a 2-0 win. He made 27 appearances for the Reds in their successful 2006 League One promotion bid. Now aged 29 and currently with Limerick, he has enjoyed spells with Huddersfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Plymouth.

Antony Kay (Defender/Midfielder)

Another Academy graduate from Oakwell, Kay made his début against Norwich City at Oakwell in August 2000 – his first of 197 appearances for his boyhood club. A versatile player, Kay started out in central midfield before switching to centre-back, but has since reverted back to his original position in his later career. After eight years with the Reds, where he helped his side back into the Championship by making 45 appearances during the 2005/06 season and scoring a penalty in the Play-Off Final, he departed Oakwell for Tranmere Rovers. After two years, 96 appearances and 19 goals at Prenton Park, he left for Huddersfield Town. With the Terriers he made 119 appearances in three years before heading to MK Dons. To date, the 31-year-old has made 64 appearances for MK Dons and has two goals to his name.

Nicky Wroe (Midfielder)

Academy graduate Nicky Wroe made his first-team début for the Reds in this fixture against Wigan – the first of 59 appearances for Barnsley. The following 2003/04 season, he made only two appearances but did score in the 3-2 victory over Stockport County. After a loan at Bury and a short, one-appearance spell with Hamilton Academical, he signed for York City in August 2007, spending one season with City before heading to Torquay. At United, he went on to make over 130 appearances at Plainmoor before winning promotion with his next club, Shrewsbury, as they were runners-up in League Two in 2012. The 28-year-old left Town for Preston, but did have a spell back on loan with Shrewsbury, and is currently on loan again away from Deepdale with Oxford United.

Kevin Donovan (Midfielder)

Attacking, right-sided midfielder joined the Reds from Grimsby Town in July 2001 at the age of 29 on a four-year contract. Born in Halifax, he started his career with Huddersfield Town before joining West Brom in October 1992, and went on to make over 200 appearances for the Baggies and helped them to promotion with a goal at the old Wembley in the Division Two Play-Off Final – one goal of 21 for Donovan that season. After a £300,000 move to Grimsby, he made 191 appearances for the Mariners –scoring 31 times. His Reds début came against Bradford in a 4-0 defeat and during his two-and-a-half-year Oakwell stint managed only one goal in 59 appearances. Donovan had a short spell with Rochdale after leaving Oakwell in December 2003 before ending his playing days with York City then Alfreton Town. The 42-year-old is now a youth coach and runs his own coaching company which can be found here.

Dean Gorré (Midfielder)

An extremely talented midfielder, Dutch maestro Dean Gorré joined the Reds from Huddersfield Town in July 2001. His magic in midfield was one of the few shining lights as the Reds battled hard in England's third tier - chants of 'Deano' would often be heard from the Ponty End as he displayed his talents at Oakwell and was certainly a crowd favourite. He spent his early career with Dutch giants Ajax and Feyenoord – winning a league title and cup at each club. The midfielder arrived in England with Huddersfield Town in 1999, joining the Reds from our West Yorkshire neighbours in 2001. Upon leaving for Blackpool in 2004, ‘Deano’ had netted nine goals in 70 appearances for the Reds. After retiring, Gorré had a short spell in Management, in charge of RBC Roosendaal, rescuing the Club from relegation in 2011. He also spent time coaching Scotland’s Under 17s, and runs his own coaching set-up which can be found here.

Kevin Betsy (Forward)

Kevin Betsy joined the Reds from Fulham in March 2002 on loan before securing a £200,000 move to Oakwell. His career began with Farnborough Town before short spells with Woking, Fleet Town and Bognor Regis before being picked up by Fulham. Betsy had the ability to ghost past defenders and was capable of scoring the odd goal. His first of 16 Barnsley goals did come against Wigan, but at Oakwell in a 3-1 defeat earlier in the 2002/03 campaign. Betsy left Oakwell for Hartlepool United having made 105 appearances in a Barnsley shirt and has since had spells with Oldham, three stints with Wycombe, Bristol City, Yeovil, Walsall and Southend. He finished his playing career with Woking and had also made seven appearances for Seychelles national side. Betsy now coaches at his former Club, Fulham, in the Academy set-up.

Mitch Ward (Midfielder)

Midfielder Mitch Ward started his career in his hometown with Sheffield United, turning professional in the summer of 1989. Ward went on to make 180 appearances over an eight-year spell for the Blades before joining Everton in 1997, where he spent three years. From Goodison Park, he joined the Reds in 2000 for £200,000. After three years at Oakwell, he clocked up 85 appearances but failed to hit the net once and left the Reds as a free agent for York City but ended his career with Altrincham. Now 42, Mitch was recently working in youth football in his hometown.

Bruce Dyer (Striker)
Bruce Dyer joined the Reds in October 1998 and notched his first goal away to Sunderland in an epic 3-2 victory before hitting a brace in the 7-1 demolition of Huddersfield Town the following month. He started his career with Watford, becoming the first £1million English teenager to be sold when he transferred to Crystal Palace in 1994. A real gentleman off the field, he still lives in the Barnsley area and is involved with plenty of charities, including Love Like UK, helping young people and those in prison. In total he made 204 appearances for the Reds, netting 69 goals, having joined the Reds for £700,000 in 1998. He endeared himself to the Barnsley faithful with his clinical nature inside the opposition box and subsequent celebrations with the fans. Now 38, Bruce also helps out in the Barnsley Academy as a volunteer, helping coach youngsters.

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