Wigan's 2013 FA Cup Winning Heroes: Where Are They Now?

Roberto Martinez, Dave Whelan
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The magic of the FA Cup has been eroded over the past 20 years or so, with the competition where dreams were made and anything could happen suddenly considerably less meaningful and mind-numbingly predictable.

When relegation threatened Wigan Athletic came up against the might of Manchester City in the 2013 final, it should have been a formality.

But Roberto Martinez's plucky underdogs sealed a famous 1-0 victory thanks to substitute Ben Watson's header on the stroke of full time.

The Latics were actually relegated from the Premier League three days later and beloved boss Roberto Martinez departed for Everton that summer. So eight years on from that wonderful Wembley underdog story, where are Wigan's FA Cup heroes today?

Joel Robles

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MAN CITY-WIGAN
FBL-ENG-FACUP-MAN CITY-WIGAN | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Robles was only on loan at Wigan from Atletico Madrid for the second half of the 2013 season, wrestling the number one jersey off Ali Al-Habsi.

He joined Roberto Martinez on Merseyside in the summer of 2013, but fell out of favour under Ronald Koeman. Robles is currently first choice at La Liga side Real Betis, having signed for the club in 2018.

Emmerson Boyce

Emmerson Boyce
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Boyce captained the side to victory in 2013, and stayed with Wigan following their relegation. The Latics suffered another relegation in 2015, and Boyce was released, bringing his nine year stay at the club to an end.

He joined League One outfit Blackpool and suffered yet another relegation - his third in five seasons. He was released at the end of the season and consequently hung up his boots. Boyce now works as an ambassador for Street Soccer USA.

Paul Scharner

Paul Scharner
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The snazzy-haired Paul Scharner was enjoying his second spell at Wigan during the 2013 season, having joined on loan from Hamburg.

FA Cup final day in 2013 was also Scharner's 33rd birthday, and he opted to retire that summer. He moved back to his native Austria and now works as a performance coach for athletes.

Antolin Alcaraz

Antolin Alcaraz
Everton v Newcastle United - Premier League | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Alcaraz was another member of Roberto Martinez's adventurous Everton transfer policy, with the Spaniard also bringing the defender to Goodison Park with him in 2013.

Martinez outlasted Alcaraz at Everton, and he was released in 2015. From there he had a short spell at La Liga outfit Las Palmas, before moving to Libertad in his native Paraguay. Alcaraz is still in his homeland, and currently plays for Olimpia (alongside Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor), winning the national championship in his first season with the club.

Roger Espinoza

Roger Espinoza
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Espinoza joined Wigan in January 2013 from MLS side Sporting Kansas. He remained with the club for their first season back in the Championship, but the following season his game time became more restricted and the pair decided to part ways.

The Honduras international moved back to Sporting Kansas, where he currently plies his trade.

James McCarthy

James McArthur, James McCarthy
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez continued to utilise Everton's extensive scouting system and really rub salt into the wound at Wigan by raiding his former club for James McCarthy in 2013.

The club paid £13m to secure his services and he remained on Merseyside for six seasons. His final year and a half at the club were hampered by injury, and he moved to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2019.

James McCarthur

James McArthur
Manchester United v Crystal Palace - The Emirates FA Cup Final | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

McCarthur remained with Wigan for another season after their relegation, but when the club missed out on an immediate top flight return, he moved to Crystal Palace for £7m on deadline day in 2014.

Alongside teammate McCarthy, he is one of just two Wigan players from the 2013 team still playing in the Premier League, and the only member to feature in another FA Cup final, having finished on the losing side with Crystal Palace in 2016.

His FA Cup winners medal was stolen in 2014.

Jordi Gomez

Jordi Gomez
Wigan Athletic V Newcastle United | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Gomez was another player to stick around at Wigan for a season after their relegation to help them back into the Premier League. The Spaniard left for Sunderland in 2014, and after two years at the club, he rejoined Wigan.

Gomez then went back to his native Spain to sign for Rayo Vallecano, followed by a spell at Levski Sofia in Bulgaria. He now plays for Cypriot outfit AC Omonia Nicosia.

Callum McManaman

Callum McManaman
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Highly rated youngster McManaman remained at the DW Stadium until 2015, before getting another stab at the Premier League with West Brom.

He signed for Sunderland ahead of their infamous 2017/18 Championship relegation campaign and then the mothership called him home for another season at Wigan. McManaman is currently at Luton, who he joined on a free transfer in 2019.

Arouna Kone

Roberto Martinez, Arouna Kone
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Where did Kone end up? At Everton under Roberto Martinez of course. That's one third of the Wigan starting XI who followed Martinez to Merseyside in 2013.

His career never really took off at Everton, thanks in part to a serious knee injury sustained during his debut season. Kone was released at the end of the 2016/17 season and joined Turkish outfit Sivasspor.

Shaun Maloney

Shaun Maloney
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

A talisman for Wigan that season, the attacking midfielder stayed at the club until 2015, before jetting off to the glitz and glamour of Chicago to sign for MLS outfit Chicago Fire, and then jetting back to the glitz and glamour of Hull to sign for Championship side Hull City.

Maloney retired in 2017, and shockingly Martinez never tried to sign him again as a player. Until September 2018, when he brought him into the Belgian national team set up as a coach.

Ben Watson

Roberto Martinez, Ben Watson
Manchester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Final | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The FA Cup hero brought his six year spell with Wigan to a close in January 2015. Watson joined Watford, helping them gain promotion that season.

He left the Hornets in January 2018 and moved to Nottingham Forest on a free, where he still plays.