ALI Al-Habsi has sent a good luck message to the hundreds of fans from both clubs who will walk between the DW Stadium and the Reebok before this afternoon’s derby.
The Wigan Athletic goalkeeper, still highly regarded at Wanderers where he spent five years as a player, returns to his former club for only the second time today.
Al-Habsi won on his previous visit – which was also marked by a sponsored walk - and is hoping for a similar outcome as the Latics chase a play-off spot.
“It’s the second time I’ll be going back to Bolton, it’s always nice to go back to where it all began for me.
“I have so many friends in Bolton – on and off the pitch.
“But the most important thing for us is to get the three points.
“Of course I have happy memories of that first return – we won 2-1 in the Premier League and it was a great game.
“This time we are both in the Championship, but hopefully we can produce another good win and take another step towards getting back there.
“We know the fans will be walking from the DW to the Reebok again (the Walk4Joseph to support Joseph’s Goal), and I wish them luck. Hopefully that will bring us luck again, and we can reward them with the points.”
Around 700 fans are scheduled to make the eight-mile walk between the two grounds with cash used to help find a cure for NKH, the rare genetic disorder that Joseph Kendrick – Wigan's lucky FA Cup final mascot – suffers from.