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luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog

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31 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 11 2016, 22:49

Sluffy

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Admin
luckyPeterpiper wrote:
Sluffy wrote:Fantastic read again Peter - well done mate!

Can't wait for your next blog.

No I wasn't at the derby match nor did I claim to be. I based my opinion of it on the highlights I saw that night and the radio commentary I listened to during the day. I went to away games when I could afford them and while I missed this one I hardly think I need a public chastising on Facebook for confusing the name of Derby's ground almost a quarter of a century later. If you believe you can do better then write one yourself, it's your site after all.

Eh?

What are you on about Peter?

I don't go on Facebook!

I think your confusing me with someone else.

Shocked

32 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 11 2016, 22:53

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Sluffy wrote:
luckyPeterpiper wrote:
Sluffy wrote:Fantastic read again Peter - well done mate!

Can't wait for your next blog.

No I wasn't at the derby match nor did I claim to be. I based my opinion of it on the highlights I saw that night and the radio commentary I listened to during the day. I went to away games when I could afford them and while I missed this one I hardly think I need a public chastising on Facebook for confusing the name of Derby's ground almost a quarter of a century later. If you believe you can do better then write one yourself, it's your site after all.

Eh?

What are you on about Peter?

I don't go on Facebook!

I think your confusing me with someone else.

Shocked

Peter means the comment you left (not actually sure if it was actually you who left the comment? Although has the name Sluffy) on the article on the News part (for newsnow).

33 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 11 2016, 23:02

Sluffy

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Admin
I've not left any comment anywhere - other than my post above.

Seems like someone has been playing silly games!

34 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 11 2016, 23:09

Sluffy

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Admin
Just found it -

"Derby County FA Cup fifth round match was played on a Saturday afternoon, so they weren't the better team on the night. They were also still at the Baseball Ground, not Pride Park as you have stated. No wonder you thought the league campaign was more significant. Like most people on Bolton Nuts, you weren't actually there".

Somebody posted that under my user name.

Why the fuck would I be bad mouthing my own forum?

Jesus, I can't believe anybody thought it was actually me!

Shocked

35 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 11 2016, 23:34

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
It did click the second time I read it. Very Happy

36 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Fri Aug 12 2016, 12:25

Bwfc1958

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Tinned Toms - You know it makes sense!
I remember watching the Derby match on a big screen that they laid on at Burnden. The lever end was full as they had the screen at the other end of the ground. The Preston game is a great memory as well. There was the mass pitch invasion at the end and I got to go on after the mass stampede and thought it was amazing to be on the pitch and be part of the celebrations. I was only about 9 at the time but I still remember it like it was yesterday. The Preston fans left loads of small fires going on in the embankment. 

Another great blog Pete and another cracking trip down memory lane. 

Can't wait for the next one!

37 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Fri Aug 12 2016, 14:02

luckyPeterpiper

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
OK folks, here's what happened. My wife Wendy saw the comment on the News site and basically flipped. I was asleep but when I click on this site I log in automatically and Wendy jumped on to leave her own opinion of the post. She doesn't know sluffy or the rest of you and she was extremely peeved when she saw what she thought was the owner of the site having a dig. We had a natter about it and I told her I didn't believe it was from sluffy. I have my own suspicions about who but I can't prove them and won't publicly air them as a result.

I hope that clears this up. PS whomever did leave the post is now on Wendy's 'send it to the taxidermist' list. I suggest that person finds a great big hole and hides in it because I wouldn't want to be you if Wendy finds you.  Very Happy

38 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:28

NickFazer

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Andy Walker
Andy Walker
I'll never forget that night at Anfield, we were fantastic and the Liverpool fans stayed to applaud us off at the end, class.

Looking forward to the next one LPP

39 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:50

Guest


Guest
Sluffy wrote:I've not left any comment anywhere - other than my post above.

Seems like someone has been playing silly games!


It's probably the same prick who started having a pop at me on the BN site.

Like Peter, I suspect I know who it is.

Someone with too much time on their hands and a rep for stirring up pointless shit.

40 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:51

Natasha Whittam

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Breadman wrote:
It's probably the same prick who started having a pop at me on the BN site.

Like Peter, I suspect I know who it is.

Someone with too much time on their hands and a rep for stirring up pointless shit.

Boggers or Scott?

41 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:52

Guest


Guest
Toss a coin.

42 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:54

Boggersbelief

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Breadman wrote:Toss a coin.

Don't have a clue what you're on about you weird guy

43 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:55

Guest


Guest
I wasn't talking to you, was I?

44 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:56

Boggersbelief

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Breadman wrote:I wasn't talking to you, was I?

Talking about me as usual though

45 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 18:59

Guest


Guest
I never mentioned you.

46 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Sun Aug 14 2016, 19:33

Boggersbelief

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Are you sure?

47 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 11:01

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Piper's Piece Number 4

1993/94 Giant Killers


Hello all and welcome to the fourth blog in the weekly series I call “Piper's Piece”. If you missed the first three then you can check them out on the Bolton Nuts News site: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or even here at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

In the meantime here's a very brief recap of what they say for those who already did read them or for those who want to read this one first. I've covered the arrival of Bruce Rioch and the 1992/93 season, the beginning of what would later become known as the “White Hot” years. In that first season we gained automatic promotion from the 2nd Division (League One to our younger readers) and got to the fifth round of the FA Cup, dumping Liverpool (the then holders) out at Anfield in one of the greatest single displays of football I ever saw from a BWFC side along the way.

It's almost impossible now to try and explain what that season felt like and meant to those who weren't there and didn't see it but I'll try. A few years previously we'd been on the absolute brink of extinction, down in the Fourth Division (League 2) and seemingly one step away from oblivion. We'd stepped away from that abyss thanks to some luck, some incredible loyalty from the fans and some true generosity from the board, notably the Warburton family and Gordon Hargreaves. However we were just about alive and while we'd got out of the bottom tier no one expected us to set the world alight anytime soon. When Bruce came in and suddenly we were beating Liverpool and spanking everyone in our own division (see my last blog for the record of the run in from January to May) it created a sort of euphoric sensation for fans that normally only comes after imbibing illegal substances. But even the most optimistic (and possibly under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol or other substances I won't mention here) fan didn't really expect that to continue. We were wrong, it had barely gotten started and the ride was about to get even more sensational.

In 1993/94 we went into the Endsleigh Insurance League Division One (The Championship) and had a solid (albeit slightly disappointing) League campaign, finishing 15th in the table but we were never in danger of going down and never really challenging at the top. In simple terms that season from a League standpoint was about consolidation and that's what we did. But while the league campaign might have been a little average the FA Cup most certainly wasn't, in fact this was the season when Premier League clubs truly came to fear seeing our name in the draw.

Because the entire Football League had been reorganised in the wake of the advent of the Premier League we actually had to play in the first round of the FA Cup despite being a second tier team. We faced Gretna, a non-league outfit who had done extremely well to get through the qualifying rounds and while we were of course favourites we certainly didn't take them lightly. It's a good job too because Gretna would have put us out in a giant killing of their own if we hadn't taken them seriously. In the event we won a very hard fought battle 3-2 with goals from John McGinlay (a penalty) and two from another soon to be familiar face, a Scottish striker by the name of Owen Coyle. The match was as close as the scoreline suggests and deserved better than the 6,500 attendance it got. However we had managed to avoid slipping on the banana skin and Gretna went home with some fairly useful funds for their club and a well deserved sense of pride in their players efforts.

Round Two was a much more routine affair against Lincoln City. We were away for that but we were utterly ruthless. Unlike the Gretna game where there had been some genuine battles in various parts of the pitch (Gretna's centre-backs in particular managed to keep Super John quiet for most of the match and not even David Lee could do much about their exceptional full backs) we bosses this one from start to finish. We won 3-1 (Thompson, Brown and Coyle all hitting the target) and never really let Lincoln get into the match. Bruce Rioch was unhappy we let them score but in truth it was a scant consolation for a team that was never really able to compete with their higher league opponents.

In Round Three we drew Everton and having disposed of Liverpool at the same stage the previous year we felt quietly confident that we could do a “Stanley Park Double” by beating the blue half of Merseyside as well. No one thought it would be easy, only that it could be done if we played to our very best. Like Liverpool the season before we had drawn Everton at home and in a match that was full of passion and commitment from both teams but (surprisingly) a bit shy on quality the 1-1 draw was a fair result. Once again we would have to go to Merseyside for a mid-week replay. Lightning surely couldn't strike twice could it? Yes, it most certainly could. Once again more than thirty thousand Liverpudlians created a wall of noise and this time a sea of Blue rather than red engulfed Goodison Park while about three thousand Trotters took their places in one corner of that famous old ground.

What followed was 120 minutes of football that had absolutely everything good about a cup competition in it. Both sides went for every ball right from the off but they did it fairly (mostly) albeit very firmly. There was plenty of skill on show too and both teams were evenly matched. This wasn't the one sided affair we'd enjoyed against Liverpool almost precisely a year earlier, it was a full on, full blooded “old school” cup tie. In the end Bolton Wanderers edged it by three goals to two thanks to efforts from McGinlay (as if you hadn't guessed that already) Stubbs and Coyle. Those of us who were there began believing Wembley was definitely on for us because that match could just as easily have gone the other way and it seemed Lady Luck had decided to smile on us so why not?

The fourth round draw made us think She must have changed her mind. We got Arsenal, the holders and arguably the best team in England (with the possible exception of Manchester United) at that time and while it was a home tie no one was under any illusions about our prospects. For one thing their substitutes cost more than our entire squad put together and their reserves probably spent more on boots than our lads got paid. To give you an idea of the scale of the problem let's look at the Arsenal squad of the time. David Seaman in goal, the famous back four of Dixon, Adams, Winterburn and Keown. A young striker called Ian Wright had joined from Crystal Palace and the midfield was graced by the likes of Merson, Parlour and John Jensen. It was David versus Goliath on steroids. However at Burnden Park we played well and Arsenal never really seemed to fire which led to a rather lucky draw for the cup holders and a trip to Highbury for us. By now the pundits had stopped saying we'd wasted our chance and were talking about the danger to the Gunners. George Graham was their manager and he spoke confidently enough but even he seemed to be aware that taking us at all lightly would see his cup holding team of superstars being the latest to fall to the 'little club'.

The game at Highbury was a cracker. To be frank Arsenal set out a full strength attacking line up (at one point they would have four strikers on the field) and they went for us from the off. Their fans were loud, passionate and full of encouragement for the men in red but guess who scored the goal that put us ahead? Yep, John McGinlay scored with a header and the few thousand Trotters who made the long journey to London went into raptures. However this was a very di9fferent proposition to the Liverpool who'd pretty much let us boss the match a year before. Arsenal roared back and it wasn't long before Alan Smith got a deserved equaliser for the Gunners.

In the second half we were pinned back and defending desperately for the entire half. Arsenal threw everything at us and it seemed to be a matter of time before they took the lead but the White Wall held firm and in what is frankly one of the all time great defensive displays we held them at bay. When the final whistle went and extra time beckoned you could have been forgiven for expecting more of the same but something very strange happened. Almost from the kick off it was suddenly Arsenal who were on the back foot and we started pushing forward with confidence. To this day I still think Arsenal were somehow demoralised by their failure to score in the second half as if they suddenly came to believe they couldn't score against us again while we believed we'd taken their best shot on the chin and shrugged it off. All at once Arsenal looked a bit disjointed and tired while we looked like we'd only just kicked off and it wasn't really a surprise when we took the lead for the second time on the night.

The goal came from an Arsenal attack that we repelled and a fabulous ball from McGinlay to Walker who beat Seaman but not the post. However McAteer was one of a number of Trotters who'd run virtually the length of the pitch and were following up and he buried it into the net with a little under six minutes of the first half of extra time to go. In the second half of extra time we played 'break' football where we absorbed Arsenal attacks (and there were a lot of them) and tried to hit them on the break. With four minutes to go we made it work brilliantly and David Lee surged forward then cleverly laid it through for Andy Walker to finish clinically. It was 3-1 to Bolton and surely game over but there were a couple more incidents of note. Firstly Arsenal came within a whisker of scoring from a cross but it was cleared off the line. A minute later Lee was dragged down by Lee Dixon who inexplicably escaped punishment even though he was arguably the last man. Walker 'scored' the free kick but even more bafflingly the referee demanded a retake despite it being Arsenal's Martin Keown who had tried to charge the ball down by running in before it was taken, an action for which the Arsenal man was sent off. However it made no difference to the end result and for the second season in a row the FA Cup Holders had been knocked out on their own ground by Bolton Wanderers. I've added this short video of the extra time highlights for those who didn't see it or just want a little nostalgia.



Eleven days later we would beat Aston Villa by a single goal (Stubbs) to nil and enter the sixth round. Unfortunately we were unable to overcome the Premier League opposition of Oldham Athletic (I know but that's where Oldham were then) at their place, succumbing 1-0.

So while the 93/94 season might have been rather quiet in terms of the league it was yet another corker in the cup and more proof (as if it were needed) that Bruce Rioch and his men could play with the 'big boys' at their level. The White Hot Years were well under way.

That's it for this blog. Why not head over to Bolton Nuts forum, it's the place for all BWFC related matters and has great banter. Not only that there's the “Wandering Minds” section where you can talk about anything you like, football related or not, some great competitions and a fabulous “News” section that keeps you up to date on all BWFC matters from all over the media. To get involved just click the link below and follow the easy to follow steps to sign up completely FREE.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And if like me you can't make the match tonight then join Nuts to hear Tower FM's live match commentary as it happens thanks to the fantastic “Portal” service. In the meantime this was “Piper's Piece” and I hope to see you all again soon.

luckyPeterpiper

48 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 12:07

Norpig

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Jussi Jääskeläinen
Jussi Jääskeläinen
good read again LPP, some very happy memories there. I went to the Gretna game and remember Coyle coming on ans scoring 2 goals to rescue us.
The Arsenal game at Highbury is still my favourite Wandererers match i've been to, i got a call from a mate on the morning of the game wanting to know if i wanted a ticket and a lift down to Highbury, i snapped his hand off and what a game it was  Very Happy

49 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 12:28

whatsgoingon

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
The Arsenal match was the one where Kevin Campbell missed an absolute hatful of chances prompting a sketch on Skinner and Baddiel where Frank Skinner pretended to be asleep and having a bad dream woke up with a start shouting give it to Campbell and revealing he was wearing a Bolton shirt.

50 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 13:45

boltonbonce

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Great stuff again Peter. Can't believe how time has passed.

51 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 15:42

xmiles

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Ivan Campo
Ivan Campo
Thanks again LPP. Happy memories!

52 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Wed Aug 17 2016, 22:12

Sluffy

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Admin
Fantastic as always Peter.

I was at the Arsenal match on the night and we thoroughly deserved to win - and the last 'goal' should have counted too.

I was at the game on my own and sat in the Arsenal end and shouted my head off but he Arsenal fans were terrific. Many of them stopped after the end of the match to clap the Bolton team and many around me shook my hand and wished the team well in the next round.

Brilliant night and a marvellous write up by Peter brought all those happy memory's flooding back.

Can't wait for the next blog instalment!

Very Happy

53 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 25 2016, 11:26

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Piper's Piece Number 5


The 1994/95 Season


Part One

The 1994/95 season was a remarkable one for Bolton Wanderers in many ways. It began in a very unpromising fashion with a 3-3 draw against Grimsby Town followed by two defeats (a 2-0 loss at home to Bristol City followed by a 1-0 defeat away to Middlesborough) and after three games we had just one point and a goal difference of minus 3. In truth at that point you could have been forgiven for thinking we were in for another season with a mid to lower table finish in the league (just as we'd had the season before) and that what excitement we would have would be from the cups. However this season was going to see all sorts of unexpected things happening on and off the field and it would end with a bombshell that no one could have seen coming. Because so much happened I have decided to split this look back at that remarkable season into two separate blogs if only so you can read them without dying of old age before getting to the end.

Our first victory (and what a relief it was when it arrived) was a 1-0 win at home to Millwall with a goal from the ever reliable Patterson. It was actually a close match as the scoreline suggests but in the end we just about edged it, much to the chagrin of the Millwall fans who felt they had deserved at least a point. Honesty compels me to say they were probably right but in truth every team needs a touch of luck occasionally and this was ours. We had four points, finally a win under our belts and while it would be wrong to say we knew it would kick start our season then in hindsight that is precisely what it did. We saw the first signs of that in the very next league match in which Stoke City came to Burnden Park for what they must have felt was a genuine opportunity to pick up an away win.

In fact they were dismantled, swept aside almost contemptuously by a Bolton display that frankly would have had the pundits swooning and journalists scrambling for a thesaurus to find new ways to describe that brilliant performance. The final score was 4-0 to the Trotters and it could easily have been double that. Goals from McGinlay (as if you hadn't known), two from McAteer and one from Patalainen simply emphasised our all round superiority on the day. It was almost as if the previous matches in the league had been a warm up and things had finally 'clicked' as we played the sort of football every Wanderers fan knew we were capable of but hadn't seen as yet this term. It was a joy to watch and the eleven and a half thousand watching fans (minus those from the Potteries) were treated to a wonderful spectacle. In some ways that win was even better than the ones we'd enjoyed in the FA Cup against Arsenal and Liverpool in the two preceding seasons simply because it came on the back of what had seemed to be a mediocre start.


The next match saw us bump down to earth in a 3-1 defeat away to Sheffield United but this BWFC team was made of stern stuff, perhaps even sterner than we realised at the time because they responded immediately by hammering Luton Town at Kenilworth Road 3-0. Super John bagged a brace and the third was scored by Sneekes, a player who may not be as well known as other members of the 'White Hot' team but who was a valuable part of it nonetheless. In point of fact Sneekes popped up with goals and assists on a regular basis all through that season but for reasons that should be obvious he never quite got the same attention that McGinlay, McAteer, Paataleinen and the likes of David Lee got which in all honesty was a bit unfair to him because he was a good, solid player who never (as far as I can remember) failed to give his best and do everything that was asked of him.

Anyway, by December of 1994 we were rolling along quite nicely, in touch with the leaders and through to the semi-finals of the League Cup having despatched Ipswich, Sheffield United, West Ham and Norwich along the way. As Christmas came and went the Trotters fans were feeling pretty good about things and why not? There was a genuine chance of a trip to Wembley, we were in the top half of the table and the club itself looked to be on a solid financial footing (probably the most important thing of all given how close we had come to extinction just a few years earlier). Not only that but the FA Cup was about to start for us (something we'd genuinely rocked the football world in in each of the two previous seasons by dumping out the holders and beating other top-flight opposition). It was definitely a pretty good time to be a BWFC fan and while we weren't going to say we'd conquer the world we definitely felt this season could be special, that we had a real shot at winning a major trophy and getting ourselves into the Premier League for the first time since its formation. Of course we all knew that it might not go that way, that being a Bolton Wanderers fan involves at least as much disappointment as it does delight but speaking personally I greeted 1995 with a great deal of optimism at least as far as football was concerned.

I'm going to close today's blog here. In the next part I'll cover the League Cup, the run in to what many still believe to be the greatest play off final comeback ever and the earth-shaking shock that rocked our club to its foundations just a month after this remarkable season ended.

54 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 25 2016, 11:54

boltonbonce

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Great stuff. And ending like a Dick Barton thriller. 
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55 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 25 2016, 17:17

Bwfc1958

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Tinned Toms - You know it makes sense!
Another great blog Pete. Agree about Sneekes, he was a great player to have in the team and he had an absolute rocket of a shot on him. 

Very much looking forward to the next blog as I know exactly what's coming. What a brilliant season this was.

56 Re: luckyPeterpiper's Weekly Blog on Thu Aug 25 2016, 17:18

Sluffy

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Admin
Top blogging Peter!

Excellent as usual mate.

Keep them coming!

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