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ON THIS DAY: Swiss strikers, rogue linesmen and civil war at Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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ON THIS DAY – March 17, 1956

NAT Lofthouse and Dennis Stevens scored two apiece in a 4-0 thumping of West Brom at Burnden Park.

The two strikers scored 45 of Bolton’s 71 league goals that season – Lofthouse grabbing 32 and Stevens 13.

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ON THIS DAY – March 17, 1973

FANS watching Wanderers’ home game against Rochdale were treated to the unusual sight of two linesmen running the same line at Burnden Park.

Both officials patrolled the Burnden side of the ground for the last half-hour of the game on the orders of referee Ron Tinkler.

He later explained that he had been unable to see his linesman on the Manchester Road side of the ground because of the sun.

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FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 17, 1981

STAN Anderson’s future as manager of Bolton Wanderers was in serious doubt after former assistant manager George Mulhall (pictured) resigned at Bradford City and returned to Burnden Park to help make up a new look back-room team.

Anderson was told his job was safe, at least until the end of the season, but Mulhall’s “second coming” suggested major changes were in the offing with chief coach Tony Dunne under extreme pressure after losing his position as number two.

An angry Anderson, who had reluctantly agreed to the appointment of Mulhall – the man he had replaced as assistant manager to Ian Greaves three years earlier – reacted to the speculation by stressing: “As far as I am concerned there is no question of Tony Dunne leaving this club.

“George, Tony and I will have to get together and talk over our particular jobs in running the team.

“George is coming here as my assistant and will be in charge of coaching.”

Something had to be done as Wanderers hit rock bottom in Division Two with a 2-0 defeat at home to Shrewsbury Town – a performance the manager described as “a shambles” and which prompted a wave pf protests from disillusioned fans.

And newly-appointed chief executive Brian Turnbull fanned the flames when he made it clear that changes had to be made if Wanderers were not going to get relegated for a second successive season.

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FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 17, 1998

COLIN Todd is running the rule over two European based strikers as he prepares a beat-the-deadline transfer swoop.

Former Swiss U-21 international Gaetano Giallanza, a £1.3 million signing for French club FC Nantes last summer, is having two days of trials at the Reebok while the Wanderers boss follows up an interest in a second, un-named target.

Todd, who has been trying to sign a striker and a wide-right midfield player for months, was already stepping up his search ahead of the transfer deadline, which is now just nine days away.

But he has redoubled his efforts after having it confirmed yesterday that top scorer Nathan Blake will miss the home game against Leicester on Saturday week.

Blake, who hit his tenth Premiership goal in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday, was booked for dissent by referee Graham Poll in the tenth minute of the game. It was his fifth yellow card in the league and means he will serve an automatic one-match ban.

Todd confirmed he is pursuing loan deals that could bring either player to the Reebok for the rest of the season. "With the deadline looming and Nathan being suspended I'm determined to bring in another centre-forward."

Whether that player will be 25-year-old Giallanza, who has been flown in by an agent, or the other Continental, who has been tracked by Wanderers chief scout Dave Coates, depends on the success of the Swiss man's two-day trial.

"I've got to assess him in just two days because I can't play him in reserve games," the manager explained.

"He comes highly recommended by an agent but Dave Coates has already seen the other player twice.

"We believe we can take them both until the end of the season."

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FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 17, 2001

SAM Allardyce scored a moral victory over Andy Kilner's Stockport County when Gareth Farrelly's late call-up to the Republic of Ireland World Cup squad allowed him to postpone next Sunday's Reebok derby duel.

The Wanderers' boss faced the prospect of going into the game without three key players after Kilner (pictured above) chose not to call for a postponement.

It had been assumed the County boss would elect to have the game rescheduled when he had three players - Finland duo Jarkko Wiss and Shefki Kuqi plus Wales U21 keeper Leyton Maxwell - called up for international duty.

But Kilner weighed up his handicap against Wanderers' loss of Colin Hendry and Ricardo Gardner, who will be on international duty with Scotland and Jamaica, in addition to top scorer Michael Ricketts, who was due to start a two match suspension and felt it was to his advantage for the game to go ahead.

Football league rules state clubs can only demand postponements if they have three players on international duty - a right Allardyce had no hesitation in exercising once Farrelly was called up by Republic boss, Mick McCarthy, for the qualifiers in Cyprus next Saturday and Andorra the following Wednesday.

The Stockport match will now be rescheduled for April with Wanderers more than happy to tackle six games in a month rather than what would have been a crucial home game without three important members of their promotion chasing squad.

For Dubliner Farrelly it's a hard earned and well deserved international recall - his first taste of action for the Republic since he won his sixth cap during the US Cup competition last June.

Meanwhile, Hendry is set to win his 50th cap and a place in Scotland's Hall of Fame after being called-up for the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and San Marino.

His future in the Tartan Army had been in serious doubt when he was out of the picture at Coventry City but Craig Brown has monitored his form since his transfer to the Reebok and kept his promise that first team football would keep him in the squad.

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