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Bolton Wanderers legend Paul Jones remembers his time at Burnden Park

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers legend Paul Jones says Bolton was the best club he ever played for.

The defender made over 500 appearances for the Whites between 1970 and 1983, becoming the sixth highest appearance maker in the club’s history.

Jones – who also had spells with Huddersfield and Blackpool among others – has fond memories of his time at Burnden Park.

“Bolton Wanderers was my first club, I thought I was going to be there for the rest of my life,” he told The Bolton News. “Obviously I wasn’t, but I loved it.

“I loved the people. When anybody asks me the best stadium I ever played at, Burnden Park. It’s where all my memories are.

“We had good times, I played with great players. It was the best club I played for.”

Jones was part of the side that won the Second Division title under Ian Greaves in 1978, ending a 14-year wait for a return to the top-flight.

The cultured defender shared the dressing room with some big characters during his time at Bolton but says one man stands out from the rest.

“Frank Worthington is the best player I ever played with. Frank was brilliant, I can’t speak highly enough of him.

“Sam (Allardyce) just did as he was told. We had a decent partnership, I took the skilful guys and he took the amateurs,” he laughed.

“Peter Reid, he was different class. Tony Dunne, Willie Morgan – I could go through them all.”

Jones also recalled an amusing interaction he had with former Wanderers team-mate John Byram, a no-nonsense centre forward.

“Johnny Byrom, you never knew what he was going to do. He was so laid back, he used to come up talking to you,” he said.

“I’d say ‘we’re attacking that way’ and he would reply ‘I’m bored’. He once said ‘let’s have a game of I spy’ in the middle of a game.

“I was a young kid thinking ‘what’s going on?’ But it made me that football isn’t that intense, he was brilliant.”

Jones’ impressive performances at Bolton earned him and England call-up under Don Revie, but he was never given the chance to make his international debut.

“I got in the full England squad but I was never a sub or anything like that. If there had been one more injury, I might have got on the bench,” he added.

“I’ll be honest, I was in awe of everybody. But when I played against them it didn’t bother me. Peter Shilton was even nutmegging me in training.

“I hate being called the best player never to play for England. I’d rather be the worst player to play for England because at least I’d have got a cap.”

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