Date: 4th December 2015 at 7:46pm
Written by:

A bit of a different one from Anthony Hart. He writes about our club, Bolton Wanderers which needs help. #FillTheMacron

I’m 25. I started supporting Bolton in the mid-90s. I’m not sure when it happened. All I know there is a photo from 1995. My brother had just been born, and there I was in the kit of the time. A full home kit. It wasn’t passed from I’m 25. I started supporting Bolton in the mid-90s. I’m not sure when it happened. All I know there is a photo from 1995. My brother had just been born, and there I was in the kit of the time. A full home kit. It wasn’t passed from my father, he supports Aston Villa for reasons I’ll never actually grasp.

My early memories weren’t that great to be honest. They tend to be the disallowed goal against Everton at the very first game at the Reebok, then going down on the final day
I then started to go to games. My first was against Birmingham in the late 90’s. I started to get more into it. Even though we lost a play-off final. Lost a play-off semi final thanks to an absolute excuse of a referee. Lost a League Cup semi final. To Tranmere. Lost an FA Cup semi. To my dad’s team. Even though we looked set for promotion and ended up outside the top two the following season.

Then we cracked it. Just weeks later. That day in Cardiff as Ricardo Gardner rode the challenges and sealed our return back to the top flight. We beat Man Utd at Old Trafford in consecutive seasons. The second came on my birthday. I could finally wind up friends who wound me up about my choice of team, even if it was a short lived experience.

I got a season ticket eventually. Just as we became a team that boasted Campos and the Okochas and the Djorkaeffs and the Stelioses. I remember laughing at the Leeds fans we dismantled them and sent them crying their way into the Championship. Beating Arsenal to the point it became an annual event, like making an arse out of yourself at a Christmas party. European football. Even European football post Sam Allardyce. It was superb.

This club has helped me through tougher times in my life. The night before my grandafther died, we beat Birmingham. I hadn’t lost a relative at the time and in that moment, Kevin Nolan’s last minute winner gave me a little thing that I focus on for just a little bit and crack out a bit of a smile.

The same went for the second year of uni, when I was depressed, often skint, wanted out, and worst of all, living in Yorkshire. What it was coinciding with though was a bloody good run of results. Johan Elmander scored that goal at Wolves, we demoished Newcastle, that Holden winner against Blackburn nanoseconds after they thought they had snatched a point. Chungy leaping like a salmon at St Andrews to get us to the ‘new’ Wembley. Quite frankly, they were things that kept me going.

And yes, Bolton have brought me, and us, lows. Like when we actually played at the new Wembley. I borrowed money off my parents for the tickets, sold my XBox for the coach ticket, and it went so wrong I can’t still watch the ‘highlights’ on YouTube. Fabrice Muamba nearly dying in front of the world’s eyes. The Sunday at the Britannia where we believed we were staying up at 3.55, and were doomed at 4.55. I spent most of the second half refusing to accept the steward telling me Man City were 2-1 down to QPR making what we were doing academic.

I live down south now, I’ve still got my season ticket and travel away too. Despite the absolute shambles of a time we’re having on and off the pitch, I sttill enjoy going. I see and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t see and meet, and it’s a perfect chance to see my family regularly.

I’ll be there tomorrrow for the game against Cardiff. Most of the time, whatever happens to our club in the next few weeks and months, I’ll still be there, and we’ll still have a club. My club. Our club. It’ll provide highs, and it’ll provide lows, and it’ll provide stories you can tell everyone. Well, maybe not the one about that the pub with the dancing girls. There’s a time and a place for that one… father, he supports Aston Villa for reasons I’ll never actually grasp.

My early memories weren’t that great to be honest. They tend to be the disallowed goal against Everton at the very first game at the Reebok, then going down on the final day
I then started to go to games. My first was against Birmingham in the late 90’s. I started to get more into it. Even though we lost a play-off final. Lost a play-off semi final thanks to an absolute excuse of a referee. Lost a League Cup semi final. To Tranmere. Lost an FA Cup semi. To my dad’s team. Even though we looked set for promotion and ended up outside the top two the following season.

Then we cracked it. Just weeks later. That day in Cardiff as Ricardo Gardner rode the challenges and sealed our return back to the top flight. We beat Man Utd at Old Trafford in consecutive seasons. The second came on my birthday. I could finally wind up friends who wound me up about my choice of team, even if it was a short lived experience.

I got a season ticket eventually. Just as we became a team that boasted Campos and the Okochas and the Djorkaeffs and the Stelioses. I remember laughing at the Leeds fans we dismantled them and sent them crying their way into the Championship. Beating Arsenal to the point it became an annual event, like making an arse out of yourself at a Christmas party. European football. Even European football post Sam Allardyce. It was superb.

This club has helped me through tougher times in my life. The night before my grandafther died, we beat Birmingham. I hadn’t lost a relative at the time and in that moment, Kevin Nolan’s last minute winner gave me a little thing that I focus on for just a little bit and crack out a bit of a smile.

The same went for the second year of uni, when I was depressed, often skint, wanted out, and worst of all, living in Yorkshire. What it was coinciding with though was a bloody good run of results. Johan Elmander scored that goal at Wolves, we demolished Newcastle, that Holden winner against Blackburn nanoseconds after they thought they had snatched a point. Chungy leaping like a salmon at St Andrews to get us to the ‘new’ Wembley. Quite frankly, they were things that kept me going.

And yes, Bolton have brought me, and us, lows. Like when we actually played at the new Wembley. I borrowed money off my parents for the tickets, sold my XBox for the coach ticket, and it went so wrong I can’t still watch the ‘highlights’ on YouTube. Fabrice Muamba nearly dying in front of the world’s eyes. The Sunday at the Britannia where we believed we were staying up at 3.55, and were doomed at 4.55. I spent most of the second half refusing to accept the steward telling me Man City were 2-1 down to QPR making what we were doing academic.

I live down south now, I’ve still got my season ticket and travel away too. Despite the absolute shambles of a time we’re having on and off the pitch, I sttill enjoy going. I see and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t see and meet, and it’s a perfect chance to see my family regularly.

I’ll be there tomorrrow for the game against Cardiff. Most of the time, whatever happens to our club in the next few weeks and months, I’ll still be there, and we’ll still have a club. My club. Our club. It’ll provide highs, and it’ll provide lows, and it’ll provide stories you can tell everyone. Well, maybe not the one about that the pub with the dancing girls. There’s a time and a place for that one…

 

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