The club was formed in 1932 following the demise of Wigan Borough the previous year. With Wigan County, Wigan United and Wigan Town also failing to establish themselves, this was fifth time lucky as far as Wigan Athletic were concerned.
It was not until 1978, and after appearances in the Lancashire Combination and Northern Premier League, that Wigan were elected to the Football League.
This came after numerous failed election attempts and a controversial application to join the Scottish League Second Division. They finished runners-up to Boston United in the Northern Premier League, but the latter's ground and facilities were deemed unsuitable for the Football League, and the Latics were put forward for election.