1960: Typical of the legendary lion-hearted centre-foward, Nat Lofthouse refused to accept his playing days were over.
But confirmation the talismanic Wanderer had sustained knee ligament damage in the 2-2 draw at Birmingham City and was likely to be out of action until March at the earliest, suggested this was indeed the end of the line for the Lion of Vienna.
Lofthouse had defied medical opinion by making a successful comeback from the ankle injury that forced him to “retire” 11
months earlier, but the latest setback cast serious doubts over the prospect of him ever pulling on the white shirt again.
1968: Nat Lofthouse was relieved as Wanderers won their first home game since mid-October, beating Portsmouth 1-0 in a dull, dour game that was rather depressing in spells – such was the approach of the unadventurous Pompey.
The victory came at a price with winger Gordon Taylor, who scored the winner in the 68th minute, picking up a hamstring injury that proved so serious in the days following the game he needed a spell in hospital for a manipulative operation.
It was, nevertheless, a significant win for Wanderers who, although not having played at their best, extended their unbeaten run to five games and moved to within five points of the league leaders.
1983: Ian Greaves made an unhappy return to Burnden when he saw his Mansfield team of yesterday’s stars beaten by John McGovern’s side of starlets in the second round of the FA Cup.
Greaves, who had managed Wanderers to promotion back to top-flight football six years earlier, had hoped his Stags – a Fourth Division side including six players with First Division experience – might be too clever for McGovern’s Whites, who had an average age of 21 and were FA Cup rookies by comparison.
And for a time it looked like experience might win the day, until the youthful alertness of Wayne Foster and Simon Rudge proved just enough to earn Wanderers a 2-0 win and a third-round tie at home to First Division Sunderland.
“We gave them a two-goal start but in fairness to Bolton they were the best team on the day,” the former Wanderers boss conceded.
2008: Gary Megson was the latest casualty of the ‘curse’ of the manager-of-the-month award.
The day after receiving the Premier League’s top boss trophy after four wins from five games in November, the Reebok chief saw Wanderers produce what he described as their “worst performance of the season” at Aston Villa, going down 4-2.
Wanderers, who started the weekend in the top 10, scored first through Johan Elmander and last through Kevin Davies at Villa Park, but in between they were torn apart by the pace and finishing power of Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young as they slumped to their second defeat in December, having previously lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea.
Megson disputed the poor performance had anything to do with him winning the top boss award, saying: “There’s no curse, we were just terrible today, end of story.”
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