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FANS' LETTER: Why I'm proud to be a Wanderers fan

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I normally only contact the B.E.N when something terrible has happened or I am feeling particularly upset with players or the club - let's face it there have been plenty of opportunities to email over the last few years... however I want to write today about a positive, proud day as a football fan.

I went down to Wycombe, honestly caring little about the result. The real reason I went was to visit a new ground, as I'm sure was the case with many other people. However, by the end of the game, I can honestly say that I've never been as proud to be a Bolton fan.

Our fans were magnificent, sang throughout the game and should be so proud of the way in which they conducted themselves, especially at the end where each player was applauded off with sincerity.

Given the awful situation, I think the players who took the field, Phil Parkinson and all of the backroom staff should be proud of themselves for keeping going, continuing to fight and getting themselves into a position where we were able to take the field.

I had never heard of a few players in our squad-a position which I have never found myself in during my 28 years. The fact is, and this performance shows it, that people want to watch our wonderful, historic football club. It is almost irrelevant who plays, how we play or where we play as long as there is a badge and 11 people representing it.

This being said, I must credit every player who took to the field today. Wycombe, I believe, will be right down at the bottom at the end of the season, but they are a team full of seasoned professional players who had so much more experience, strength and fitness than any of the young lads who turned out for us today.

Our two thousand or so fans could all see that the players gave it there all. This is the only thing that we ever ask and it was with a lump in my throat that I cheered them off the pitch at the end, as did every single Bolton fan who had made the journey.

They were a credit to themselves in the first half and Wycombe's professionalism showed. No-one should have any complaints with the result but every one of the players tried their hardest, worked their hardest and represented our club superbly; this is not something which I have said for a long time.

I would also like to pay tribute to Wycombe, their fans, their announcer and especially Ade Akinfenwa and Gareth Ainsworth. Akinfenwa is a credit to the sport, interacted with our fans and applauded us. He was rewarded with a standing ovation which he seemed honoured by.

It is rare to see such a display of sportsmanship and character in professional sport, but Akinfenwa encapsulates that. I would be proud if he represented Bolton.

Gareth Ainsworth waited for each of our players at the tunnel, shaking hands like he meant every one of them and treating our club with so much respect. He also applauded our fans and was applauded and cheered back. He was a class act (if not when berating the referee on the touchline!)

For once, I have come away from a professional football match feeling proud, uplifted and happy to call myself a football fan and more importantly a Bolton fan.

I hope this semblance of a feel good factor can be carried through the season. If we were to be relegated with -12 points but play like that every week and show such effort, there is not one real Bolton fan who could be upset.

Well done to everyone involved as there is definite potential-they just need a few older heads and more experience.

If this happens, let's hope that our young team can turn themselves into the heroes that we have all been craving over the last few years.

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