Emile Heskey today completed a whirlwind round of talks to become the most expensive player in Wigan's history.
At 6pm last night Wigan had agreed with Birmingham a #5.5million fee for the striker, and by 1.30pm today the 28-year-old had put pen to paper to a three-year contract.
Former England forward Heskey's arrival smashes their previous record transfer fee when they paid #3.1million for Henri Camara last summer.
Although unable to prevent Birmingham from sliding into the Coca- Cola Championship at the end of last season, Heskey has made a quicker-than-expected return to the Premiership.
"I want to play in the Premiership like every player does," said the former Liverpool star who had no hesitation in returning to the north-west.
"What Wigan have achieved over the past few years is nothing short of amazing.
"I've talked to a lot of mates within the game and they have said nothing but good things about the manager and the way the club is run.
"I was very impressed with how Paul Jewell sold the club to me. The ambition is here and the role he sees for me. I can't wait to get started."
After 78 appearances for the Blues, Heskey was disappointed to leave St Andrews, but is confident of making an impact at the JJB Stadium.
Heskey added: "It's always sad when you leave somewhere and I'd like to say thank you to all the Birmingham fans, and to Steve Bruce, for all their support.
"But I'm a Wigan Athletic player now and I want to start showing everyone what I can do."
After missing out on Andy Johnson earlier this summer, despite the club willing
to pay #8.5million, Jewell has finally landed the big- name player he has
Although Heskey scored just 16 goals in his time with City, and with only five last term, Jewell is confident he has signed a player of quality.
"This is a major coup for Wigan Athletic," said the Latics boss.
"I have said all along I want to bring real quality performers into this club, and Emile fits into that category.
"He is the most high-profile signing this club has ever made, but I've not bought him for his reputation, I've bought him because I know what he can do on a football field.
"He's played over 300 Premiership games, was a mainstay in the Liverpool and England attack for several seasons and has played and scored in both the World Cup and the UEFA Cup.
"I can understand Steve Bruce not wanting to sell him because he has been a big player for him.
"But I expect Emile to make a major impact at Wigan because he has the talent, drive and attitude to fit into the team and play a major part in our development. Of that I am totally convinced."
Jewell has often struggled in the transfer market in the past to sign the more well-known players when they become available.
But he is now hoping with the capture of Heskey, the tide has turned.
"We have been monitoring the situation for a long time as regards his availability, and there were naturally several other clubs interested in a player of his quality," added Jewell.
"It speaks volumes about how far we have come as a club that we have beaten established Premiership clubs to net a player of his stature, just as he has reached his prime."