Rotherham United’s Paul Warne will have an extra interest in today’s FA Cup Final - an old housemate is managing one of the finalists!
The Millers coach and former player used to share a house with Roberto Martinez when they were players at Wigan in the late 1990s.
“It was when I first went to Wigan that I shared a house with Roberto,” said Paul who was at Wigan for two years.
“He was a really lovely guy but what I do remember was that during the afternoon, after training, he’d take himself off to bed and sleep for a few hours and I’d be left twiddling my thumbs, sitting around with nothing to do,” he chuckled.
“Then, he’d get up and want to go out for something to eat, probably at 7 or 8 o’clock at night.
“But he was a really nice guy and an excellent footballer and he was what they referred to in Wigan as one of the Three Amigos because they had two other Spanish players as well and, at that time, that certainly was unusual and particularly so for a club in the lower divisions.
“He was always a thinker about the game and it is no surprise that he has gone into management and he has his way of how he wants his teams to play and that has been evident at Swansea and now Wigan.
“Certainly I wish him all the best today but, obviously, it will be difficult although Manchester City only beat them by a single goal the other week.”
Paul had arrived at Wigan in 1997 after being spotted playing for his local club in Norfolk.
Wigan went down to play a friendly against them specifically to take a look at Paul.
“I remember that I’d been on the lash with some mates abroad so wasn’t in the best state to take on professionals,” he recalls. “Then, at half-time, our manager said you’ve to play for Wigan in the second half and I was up against our centre half who had always been too good for me. But, being the great guy he was, he eased off and Wigan took a chance on me.”