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FAN'S LETTER: Don't forget the real lifeblood of Bolton Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I have been a Bolton Wanderers supporter since 1958 (cup final) and an active fan at games since 1960 – throughout all four divisions – and visited well over 80 different grounds old and new as a supporter, a police officer and an employee.

With my son we have gone through the golden period, the 90's into the Premiership ups and downs until we had to leave the old Burnden Park to move into our current home.

This, of course, meant we went from 'corner shop' to 'Supermarket' (money) through the Todd and Allardyce years.

The town was quite rightly proud of the team with world-class players arriving at a first-rate stadium.

We even had two forays into Europe, I went to Macedonia, along with more well-known venues.

Children appeared in school playgrounds and parks in BWFC shirts and the infrastructure was in place; we had a forward-thinking benefactor in Eddie Davies, and a fan in chairman Phil Gartside. Sadly, both have since passed away.

However, Eddie Davies' name lives on in the academy, now our full training ground at Lostock with our state-of-the-art training facility a casualty of debt (sold to rivals Wigan).

Sadly, the down slide continued, we passed through managers, and backroom staff and internal staff were lost with financial losses until we get to the sad state of affairs under Ken Anderson.

Firstly, I am convinced without the smoke-screen of Dean Holdsworth that heralded his arrival he would not have been accepted.

Since the beginning, it has mainly been accusations against anyone who questions his actions.

I do not think he has been near Bolton Wanderers in the last four months due to 'business'.

How this gentleman got past the acceptance stage with the EFL I do not know.

In my opinion, he has put back this football club and us fans back 30 years.

This episode is worse than Brexit in that it has gone on too long.

From a proud club and town we have been become an embarrassment to ourselves and a laughing stock to others.

The EFL should bear in mind, when whatever punishment they deal out to Bolton Wanderers, Mr Anderson is not Bolton Wanderers and will stay disappeared.

But the fans, the people at the club who deal with the day-to-day running of the club, on small wages (when paid) and the even greater number of unsung part-time match-day staff (on minimal wages at most football clubs) who without these, the games, as has been proved, could not go on are Bolton Wanderers.

I am now 70 years old, having served as a police officer for 30 years, (1989-1996 as a dedicated communications officer at Burnden Park, as a result of the Hillborough disaster) into retirement, to then work for Wanderers full-time until 2010.

I continue to work match days part-time on minimal wage, mostly because I want to.

Hopefully, I will be able to carry on next season.

Stuart Hodgson

via email


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