Today was the end of an era. Non-Bolton fans almost certainly wouldn’t name Jimmy Phillips if asked to name 20, 30 or 50 names associated with the club, though few have had more influence in the last 30 years.
Phillips, somewhat unsurprisingly, is to leave the club. Once the Academy was going to be downgraded to Category 3, and the Under-23 team to become a thing of the past, there were always going to be question marks about the futures of the Academy staff, and the decision to go was one made by mutual consent.
Phillips rejoined the club back in 1993 after a first playing stint in the mid-1980’s. He would be part of the sides in the 90’s that won two separate promotions to the top flight, as well as playing the 1995 Coca-Cola Cup final. As we went into a new millennium, he transitioned from player to coach, then eventually took over the running of the Academy, with Rob Holding, Josh Vela, Zach Clough, Ronan Darcy, Dennis Politic, Harry Brockbank and many, many more making it through to the first team eventually, not least pretty much the entire squad that played Coventry last August.
“After 30 years’ service at Bolton Wanderers both as a player and member of staff, I feel the time has now come for me to pursue new challenges both personally and professionally,” Phillips told the club site.
“I look back over my time at BWFC with pride and fond memories. I would very much like to thank the fans for their great support over the years.
We have been through ups and downs on our journey together and their strength has been tremendous.
I am also extremely grateful for the dedication and loyalty of my colleagues at the Academy. I have very much appreciated their hard work over the years.
“Lastly I would like to wish Football Ventures the best of luck for the future of the club as they move forward under Ian Evatt’s leadership. Bolton Wanderers will certainly always hold a very special place in my heart.”
One of the good guys 👍
— Joshua (@velajosh25) July 21, 2020
The club will miss this man I'm sure! Great guy thanks for all the hard work jimmy!! 💪🏼💙
— Zach Clough (@ZachClough) July 21, 2020
— Ni (@niall48maher) July 21, 2020
Seemingly well appreciated by the players brought through, Phillips also had three separate stints as caretaker manager, so was evidently happy to step up when asked. A real servant to the club, and someone who shaped the modern Bolton Wanderers like few others. All the best, Jimmy