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What is Dave Whelan Net Worth? | Former owner of Wigan Athletic

If you’ve been a football fan for a long time, or to be more precise an English football fan, you would have probably heard of David Whelan. During his football career, he played for Blackburn Rovers FC and Crewe Alexandra, who are currently in the EFL Championship and EFL League Two respectively. He made his name not when he was a footballer, but when he retired from it being the owner of DW Stadium, which was home to English club Wigan Athletic and Rugby club Wigan Warriors. So, what exactly is David Whelan’s Net Worth in 2021 currently?  

David Whelan Age & Career

Whelan came to World on the 24th of November 1936 in Bradford but was eventually raised in Wigan, while his parents are of Irish descent from County Tipperary, Ireland. Not long after, he discovered his talent in football and became a Blackburn Rovers player. In 1960, he was part of the Rovers’ team that succumbed to a 3-0 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup final, but he was unable to complete the match due to Norman Deeley’s challenge on him that made him have a broken leg, leading to the player being withdrawn before half time. Whelan’s injury was regarded to be one of the many lethal injuries suffered by players during the 1950-60 era, this injury placed a mark on his full-back career. Not long after he got his injury, he was sold to Crewe Alexandra F.C. where he represented the club for the seasons before finally ending his time with them.  

He represented Blackburn Rovers in 73 games and scored 3 goals before he was sold to Crewe, where he appeared in 115 matches before he finally hung his boots. Whelan didn’t make much of a wave during his footballing career thanks to his injury, but how did Dave Whelan’s net worth accumulate? You’ll see in a bit.  


David Whelan After Retirement

Shortly after retiring, working together with Howarth Brothers in Blackburn he opened up a market stall on Wigan market, which quickly developed into a grocery store. He worked fully on his supermarket chain, Whelan’s Discount Stores, which had 10 stores all over Lancashire. In 1978, the former football player sold it off to Ken Morrisons for £1.5 million. He acquired JJB Sports Stores back in 1971, and just like his former store, he developed it into a Supermarket chain having several stores all over the country, it eventually became the United Kingdom’s second-biggest Sports stores at the time.  

Following several complicated issues surging from the company, in January 2007, Whelan ended up selling his shares worth £50 million from the company and his 29% stake in June 2007. All these were part of what made his net worth spike up. 

In 1995, Whelan bought Wigan Athletic, who were formerly in Division Three, and promised to lead them back into the Premier League. He was able to help the club return to the English top Flight in 2005, right after winning the Division Three title, and Division Two title and secured promotion from the EFL Championship to the Premier League during the 04/05 campaign.  

Dave Whelan lifts FA Cup
Dave Whelan lifts FA Cup

Against all odds, Wigan Athletic didn’t relegate back to Championship in their first season, claiming the 10th position in the English Top Flight’s table. On 11 May 2013, Ben Watson bagged a goal in the 91st minute in FA Cup Final match against Manchester City to end the game in 1-0. The FA Cup became Wigan Athletic first major trophy in their Premier League history. This also sees Whelan lift the FA Cup trophy for the first since he broke his leg 53 years back.  

Dave Whelan’s Net Worth:  

With several other businesses done, Dave Whelan’s net worth sits at $220 million as of 2021. After eight seasons spent in the Premier League, Wigan Athletic has finally relegated a defeat against Arsenal sealed their return to the EFL Championship. Whelan gave up his position as chairman of the club in 2015, handing it down to his grandson, David Sharpe, who ended up passing the ownership to International Entertainment Corporation later.