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Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers, Formerly Known as Christ Church F.C

Mon 11 April 2022 | 4:30

Today’s article is about one of the oldest football clubs in England with a rich history and interesting facts to bring up and talk about.

Bolton Wanderers Football Team is a professional football club headquartered in Horwich, England, that plays in the EFL League One, the English football's third tier. It was founded in 1874 as Christ Church Football Club, changed its name in 1877, and became a founding member of the Football League in 1888.

Bolton has gone 73 seasons without winning the Premier League title, more than any other club. In 1891–92, 1920–21, and 1924–25, they finished third in the First Division. In the 1920s, Bolton won the FA Cup three times, and again in 1958.

In 1987–88, the team spent a season in the Fourth Division before reclaiming top-flight status in 1995 and qualifying for the UEFA Cup twice: in 2005–06, they reached the last 32, and in 2007–08, they reached the last 16.

Burnden Park was the home of the club for 102 years, starting in 1895. The Burnden Park disaster, which occurred on March 9, 1946, claimed the lives of thirty-three Bolton supporters. Bolton moved to the Reebok Stadium in 1997. In 2014, the stadium was renamed the Macron Stadium, and in 2018, it was renamed the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton had been in severe financial troubles since 2015 and entered into administration in May 2019. On August 28, 2019, the team was purchased by new owners, who were facing likely EFL expulsion and extinction.

Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers, The Whites

  • Full Name:

     Bolton Wanderers Football Club

  • Nicknames:

     The Trotters, The Wanderers, The Whites

  • Date of Formation:

     1874

  • Location:

     Horwich, England

  • Age:

     148 years

  • Nationality:

     English

  • Home Stadium:

     University of Bolton Stadium

  • Home Colors: 

    White and Navy Blue

  • Chairman:

     Sharon Brittan

  • Manager:

     Ian Evatt

  • Market Value: 

    €5.63m

  • League:

     EFL League One

  • Current Table Position:

     11 out of 24

Bolton Wanderers Colors & Badge

White jerseys with navy and red trim, traditionally worn with navy shorts and white socks, are the home colors of Bolton Wanderers.

Over the years, they've worn a variety of away kits, with navy and yellow being the most popular. Bolton did not always wear a white kit; in 1884, they wore white with red dots, earning the nickname "The Spots" for the first time, one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

In 2003, the traditional navy blue shorts were replaced with an all-white strip, although they were reintroduced in 2008. In the 1970s, the club used an all-white kit for the first time.

The Bolton Wanderers club badge has the club's initials shaped like a ball, with a red scroll and a Lancashire rose underneath.

The current emblem is a reworking of a 1975 design; it was replaced in 2001 by a badge that kept the recognizable initials but controversially replaced the scroll and rose with blue and red ribbons. 

The return of the red rose to the badge was well received by fans, as were some who thought the ribbons were a terrible choice.

The initial club badge was the Bolton town crest, which featured the Elephant and Castle symbol together with the town motto - Supera Moras, which means "Overcome Delays."

Certain fans thought it was a nice touch that this element was reintroduced on the back of some more recent club shirts.

The nickname "The Trotters" has several claimed origins: it is simply a variation on "Wanderers," it is an old local term for a practical joker, or it was derived from one of the grounds used before the club settled at Pikes Lane being adjacent to a piggery, requiring players to "trot" through the pig pens to retrieve the ball if it went over the fence, another one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

Bolton Wanderers Fans & Rivals

The official supporters' association of Bolton Wanderers Football Club is the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Association (BWSA). On the suggestion of a supporter, Peter Entwistle, the Supporters' Association was founded in 1992.

Later that year, the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Association was officially recognized as the club's supporters' group by the directors of the football club, who were satisfied that the Association had shown to be organized and responsible, one of the

Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

The BWSA accepted the football club's request to hold its monthly meetings in the new stadium in 1997, shortly after the move from Burnden Park to the Reebok Stadium.

Since then, the University of Bolton Stadium has served as their home. When Bolton Wanderers supporters groups in other parts of the UK, as well as groups from around the world, accepted the Association's invitation to affiliate in the year 2000, the Association grew dramatically.

All of these foreign supporters' groups have joined the official Bolton Wanderers supporters' family as autonomous, but integral members. Requests for affiliated status are still being received on a daily basis from various locations across the world where Wanderers fans assemble.

Bolton's historic rivals were close neighbors Bury, however, the rivalry has dwindled significantly as a result of limited league games and Bury's expulsion from the Football League in August 2019.

The team also has long-standing rivalries with other Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, as all three clubs are founder members of the Football League and are separated by less than fifteen miles.

Bolton has recently developed a rivalry with Wigan Athletic, whose supporters see Bolton as their biggest opponents.

Wigan

eventually established themselves as Bolton's main adversaries, and the two clubs' encounter on October 16, 2021, was marred by crowd disturbance.

According to research conducted in 2021, the Bolton/Wigan rivalry was the most fierce in English football history, with both teams having the same record against each other at the time.

Fans of Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, and Wolverhampton Wanderers all share a dislike for Bolton, another one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

Bolton supporters chose

Manchester United

, Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Oldham Athletic, and Bury as their main opponents in a survey conducted in August 2019 dubbed 'The League of Love and Hate.'

Bolton Wanderers Home Stadium Throughout the Years

Christ Church used to be a nomadic club, playing at a variety of venues around the area when it first started. In 1881, the club, which had been renamed Bolton Wanderers, began playing on a regular basis at Pike's Lane.

Season tickets cost a guinea after £150 was spent on pitch renovations. They stayed for fourteen years until moving to Burnden Park when their lease expired.

The ground, which is located in the Burnden neighborhood of Bolton, about one mile from the town center, served as the home of the town's football team for 102 years.

Burnden Park could hold up to 70,000 fans in its prime, although this number plummeted in the latter 20 years of its existence. In 1986, a part of The Embankment was demolished to make space for a new Normid supermarket.

Because Bolton was in financial trouble and suffering in the Football League Third Division at the time, there was little demand for tickets, and the loss of a portion of the stadium gave the Bolton board good value for money.

By 1992, the club's directors had determined that converting Burnden Park into an all-seater stadium, as required by the Taylor Report for all first- and second-tier clubs would be challenging, one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers. 

The town of Horwich decided to build an out-of-town stadium, with the final location being 5 miles due west of the town center.

The stadium, which had a capacity of roughly 29,000 people, opened in August 1997 as a modern, all-seater arena. The stadium was named "Burnden Way" in honor of the club's former home ground.

Although the lower-tier seating is one continuous bowl, it features four stands. After long-time team sponsor Reebok, it was previously known as the Reebok Stadium.

Many fans were originally offended by this, believing it to be impersonal and that too much focus was being placed on financial considerations.

Since the stadium's construction, there has been a significant decrease in this opposition. The stadium was renamed in April 2014 as part of a four-year sponsorship contract with Macron sportswear.

When the contract with the University of Bolton expired in August 2018, the stadium was renamed again, this time the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers Free School, a sixth form offering sports and related courses for 16 to 19-year-olds, opened at the stadium in 2014.

However, due to low pupil numbers, the school was forced to close in 2017 since it was deemed "not financially viable."

Bolton Wanderers Investors, Sponsors, and Financial Issues

Burnden Leisure Ltd, a private corporation limited by shares, is the holding company of Bolton Wanderers F.C. Burnden Leisure was originally a public company that traded on the AIM stock exchange until Eddie Davies' takeover in May 2003, when it voluntarily delisted.

Burnden Leisure owns 100% of the club; businessman Davies owns 94.5 percent of the shares, with the remaining holdings held by nearly 6,000 tiny owners, each owning less than 0.1 percent.

Davies withdrew his investment in Bolton when the club was relegated from the

Premier League

.

This resulted in debts of about £200 million being publicly disclosed, putting the club on the verge of being wound up due to unpaid tax payments owed to HMRC, one of the

Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

Davies promised to wipe over £125m of debt owed to him when the club was sold, which wiped a significant proportion of debt the club owed, As a gesture of his goodwill and as an incentive to sell the club.

Davies' controlling position was purchased by Sports Shield, a partnership managed by Dean Holdsworth, in March 2016, and Holdsworth's shareholding in Sports Shield was bought out by Ken Anderson a year later.

Player strikes, additional winding-up orders, and financial issues with other creditors plagued the club throughout Anderson's tenure.

The club (Burnden Leisure Ltd) went into administration in May 2019 and was threatened with expulsion from the EFL in August 2019, with the club's future ownership undetermined.

Despite Ken Anderson's resistance, the club was sold to Football Ventures (Whites) Ltd on August 28.

The club obtained an emergency loan from The Future Fund, a financial support scheme formed during the COVID-19 pandemic, in January 2022.

This was later transformed into club shares, with the British Business Bank, an economic development bank established and operated by HM Government, owning roughly 8% of the shares.

Bolton Wanderers has a long-standing association with Reebok, a sporting products company founded in the area. This agreement spanned the years 1997 through 2009 and included jersey sponsorship, kit manufacturing, and stadium naming rights.

The 22-year shirt sponsorship and kit manufacturing arrangement (from 1990 to 2009) represents the longest kit collaboration in English football history, another one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers. Reebok had the naming rights to the stadium from its inception in 1997 until 2014.

From the 2014–15 season forward, Bolton's kit was manufactured by Macron, an Italian sportswear company that also served as the stadium's name sponsor for four years. The stadium naming rights were sold to the University of Bolton in an undisclosed deal in August 2018.

Bolton Wanderers History, The Humble Beginnings

In 1874, the club was founded as Christ Church F.C. by the Reverend Joseph Farrall Wright, Perpetual Curate of Christ Church Bolton, and Thomas Ogden, the schoolmaster at the neighboring church school.

It was originally conducted out of the same-named church on Deane Road in Bolton, which is now home to the University of Bolton's Innovation Factory.

Following a disagreement with the vicar, the club relocated to Bolton and changed its name to Bolton Wanderers in 1877.

One of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers is that the name was chosen because the team initially struggled to find a permanent home, having played at three different sites in its first four years.

The Football League was founded in 1888, and Bolton was one of the 12 founding members. Lancashire was one of the greatest footballing regions in the UK at the time, with six of the twelve founding clubs being from the historic county of Lancashire.

Bolton has spent more time in the Premier League (formerly First Division) than out of it, having been in the Football League from its inception.

Bolton had an uninterrupted run in the top flight from 1935 to 1964, which fans see as a golden era, spearheaded by Nat Lofthouse in the 1950s.

Most of the Wanderers' playing staff saw action on the front lines during WWII, an unusual event in elite football since top athletes were typically assigned to rigorous training duties away from enemy fire.

In 1939, however, 15 Bolton professionals, led by captain Harry Goslin, volunteered for active duty and joined the 53rd Bolton Artillery regiment.

32 of the 35 pre-war professionals saw action in the British forces by the end of the war. Goslin, who had risen to the rank of Lieutenant by the time of the attack, was killed by shrapnel in the Italian front just before Christmas 1943.

The 53rd Bolton Artillery was involved in the Battle of Dunkirk as well as battles in Egypt, Iraq, and Italy.

Another one of the

Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers

is that, surprisingly, some of these soldiers were able to continue playing the game in these conflict areas, taking on various scratch teams assembled by, among others, King Farouk of Egypt in Cairo and Polish forces in Baghdad as the "British XI."

Bolton Wanderers History, Highs & Lows

Bolton Wanderers haven't won a major trophy since 1958 when two Lofthouse goals helped them defeat Manchester United in front of a 100,000-strong crowd at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup final, one of the Top Facts about Bolton Wanderers.

Since then, they've only come close to winning a major trophy twice in the League Cup, first in 1995 and then again in 2004.

The following season, Bolton finished fourth, but the next 20 years were fruitless. In 1963–64, the club was relegated to the Second Division, and in 1970–71, they were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history.

The team only stayed in the Third Division for two years before being promoted as champions in 1972–73.

When Bolton won the Second Division title and was promoted to the First Division in May 1978, there were great hopes at Burnden Park. They were only in the Premier League for two seasons before being relegated.

In the early 1990s, Bolton developed a reputation for demolishing giants in cup tournaments. In a third-round rematch at Anfield in 1993, Bolton defeated FA Cup holders

Liverpool

2–0 thanks to goals from John McGinlay and Andy Walker.

That year, the team also defeated higher-level competition in the form of

Wolverhampton Wanderers

(2–1) before losing to Derby County in the playoffs.

For the first time since 1983, Bolton had been promoted to the second tier. In a fourth-round replay in 1994, Bolton defeated FA Cup champions Arsenal 3–1 after extra time and went on to reach the quarter-finals, losing 1–0 at home to local rivals (and then Premiership) Oldham Athletic.

Bolton also overcame

Everton

(3–2) and Aston Villa (1–0) in the Premier League that season.

Bolton won the Premiership in 1995 by defeating Reading 4–3 in the Division One play-off Final. Reading led 2–0 but a Keith Branagan penalty in the 12th minute changed the game's course.

Bolton scored two late goals to reach extra time, then scored twice more before Reading scored a late consolation.

Bolton reached the League Cup Final the same year but were defeated 2–1 by Liverpool. Bolton was bottom of the Premiership for much the entire 1995–96 season and were relegated after losing their penultimate game 1–0 to

Southampton

.

The team won promotion back to the Premiership at the first try courtesy to a season in which they finished first in Division One with 98 league points and 100 goals, the first time they had finished first in any division since 1978.

This season also saw the club's transition from Burnden Park to the Reebok Stadium, with a 4–1 victory over Charlton Athletic as the final game at the former.

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source: SportMob

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