League One Lowdown: Bolton Wanderers

Last updated : 13 July 2019 By Jim Bonner

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1874

Owner: None - In Administration

Last Season: Championship - 23rd (Relegated)

Nicknames: The Trotters, Wanderers

Rivals: Manchester United, Wigan Athletic, Preston North End, Bury

Major Honours

FA Cup: 1923, 1926, 1929, 1958

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Bolton: Saturday, September 28th (3pm)

Bolton vs Portsmouth: Saturday, January 18th (3pm)

Bolton Wanderers: A brief history

Formed as Christ Church FC in 1874, a dispute with the church vicar caused the club to relocate and rename itself Bolton Wanderers, becoming one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888.

Bolton's glory period came in the 1920's when they won three FA Cups, their first coming against West Ham in the famous "White Horse" final of 1923 and the third against Pompey at Wembley, denying the Blues their first major honour.

Wanderers enjoyed an uniterrupted stay in the top flight until 1964 and won the FA Cup again in 1958 courtesy of club legend Nat Lofthouse. The following years saw the club drop divisions and win the odd promotion, going down to the fourth division in 1987 but winning promotion to the Premier League in 1995 under Sam Allardyce.

Although relegation followed, Bolton bounced straight back and moved into the Reebok Stadium in 1997 and became a mainstay of English top flight football until 2012 when they were relegated to the Championship.

There the financial problems began to amplify with the club over £100 million in debt and Bolton were relegated to League One despite a takeover from a consortium led by Dean Holdsworth. Wanderers won promotion at the first time of asking but the debts continued to mount under Ken Anderson's ownership and last season the players were unpaid and refused to fulfil their final league fixture with Brentford as relegation back to League One had already been confirmed.

With reported debts of over £200 million, Bolton will begin the 2019/2020 season on -12 points for entering administration but the club has a buyer lined up in Football Ventures Ltd who have been approved by the EFL.

The Manager: Phil Parkinson

As a player, Parkinson started out at Southampton but never made an appearance for them before moving to Bury and then eventually Reading before he retired in 2003, taking up his first managerial post at Colchester United soon after.

He took the U's to the Championship and his success there saw him poached by Hull in 2006, although his reign was a disaster and he joined Charlton as assistant to Alan Pardew before taking the main job at The Valley with the club getting relegated to League One and then failing to win promotion the following season.

Parkinson had to rebuild his managerial career and was appointed Bradford manager in 2011. There, he famously took the Bantams to the League Cup final despite the club being in League Two and in the same season they won promotion to League One via the play-offs.

The following season saw Bradford inflict a famous 4-2 defeat of Chelsea in the FA Cup before going out at the quarter-finals. Bradford were beaten in the play-offs the same season but Parkinson's success got the attention of Bolton, who appointed him manager 2016. He got the Trotters up to the Championship and kept them there for a season before relegation in 2019 under extremely tough circumstances.

The Ground: University of Bolton Stadium (Capacity: 28,700 - Away: 5,000)

My pictures of what everyone used to call the Reebok Stadium have long been lost to history, with Pompey not playing there since two goals from Aruna Dindane earned a 2-2 draw back in 2010. It's a solid modern ground with good facilities and a decent view of the pitch whether you're in the lower or upper tier of the stand.