Saturday, 22 January 2011
263 Isidro Diaz
Position : Winger
Played : 1998-99
Appearances : 14
Goals : 2
Going back to the Accrington game mentioned in the previous post, it was also memorable for the incongruous sight of a slightly built, swarthy young man in the stand, alternating between jabbering away in Spanish on the mobile he had in one hand and taking mouthfuls from the Hollands pie he had in the other. This was Isidro , famous for being one of the "Three Amigos" brought from Spain to Wigan by chairman Dave Whelan in the summer of 1995 to the surprise of his manager Graham Barrow. Arguably it was trying to assimilate the Spaniards in the team that cost Barrow his job in the autumn. Isidro scored 16 goals in 76 games and helped Wigan win the Third Division title in 1996-97 but decided to try his luck elsewhere and went to Wolves. He only played one game for them and soon returned to Wigan. However he'd been replaced by then and only made 2 more appearances and was now a free agent.
Barrow had toyed with foreign signings before - anyone remember Johan van Berg the Dutch defender who flew over for a friendly at Ashton United in 1996 and had to be taken off at the insistence of the referee after 15 minutes of decking anyone that came near him ? Or Axoi, the giant Turkish left back, a year later ? Isidro was the first to play in a serious game - our first home match against Torquay and a dismal 0-2 defeat. A week later he scored the late tap-in winner in our first victory away at Carlisle, a game so bad we could barely celebrate.
Although Izzy was obviously a talented player , fast and skilful, the move didn't really work out . Opponents were well aware of the danger he posed and doubled up on him , the rest of the team not having the wit to exploit the space this created. And when he did wriggle free there often wasn't anyone to aim a cross at as Barrow wouldn't risk 4-4-2 despite having two quality wingers. After a defeat at Peterborough in October Barrow changed things round and dropped him He made a few more appearances mainly off the bench but it wasn't a great surprise when he decided to return to Spain in December.
He has moved around a bit since then but is still playing at the age of 38 for SD Laredo.