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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Wilbraham: Wanderers escape is the greatest moment of my career

Wilbraham: Wanderers escape is the greatest moment of my career

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Aaron Wilbraham fought back the tears to describe the moment he saved Wanderers’ Championship status.

The veteran striker scored an 88th minute winner to sink Nottingham Forest and ensure Phil Parkinson’s team stayed up at Burton Albion and Barnsley’s expense.

It was a quite astonishing comeback for Wanderers – who trailed 2-1 with three minutes left – before David Wheater equalised.

Wilbraham had been a shock inclusion in Parkinson’s line-up, starting for only the third time this season in the league. But as the celebrations continued around him, the 38-year-old summed up what it meant to be the hero in a game no Bolton fan will ever forget.

“I can’t even describe how I feel, it is the best moment of my career,” he told The Bolton News. “I had been chatting to my missus and little one all week about what I was going to do… But this, it’s just amazing.

“My mate texted me to say I always seemed to write a script. I did it when my Dad died and when my Nanna died, I’m not trying to make myself sound like a hero. But it happened.

“At my age, to have not played as much as I’d want – and the gaffer has said as much – but I have tried to stay good around the lads. I wanted to play my part.

“I missed chances, in fact I probably scored the hardest header I had all day. I kept getting in there, I didn’t shy away. I kept telling the Forest lads to slow down. They didn’t want to get injured for their holidays but they wouldn’t listen.

“We have done it. And I just want to dedicate that to my family. This feeling, everything – it’s for them.”

Parkinson was delighted his decision to play Wilbraham paid off.

“We felt it was the right decision for this game,” said. “Forest have struggled to defend crosses and we needed a platform to play off. We knew it could bring an air of negativity from the supporters – and that was the gamble – but I have to thank the fans because while they might have been speaking to the person sat next to them and questioning the decision, I didn’t feel it in the ground.”

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