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ON THIS DAY: Keeper crisis, car park sales and semi-finals at Wanderers

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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ON THIS DAY – March 23, 1899

The first-ever FA Cup semi-final played at Burnden Park took place between Sheffield United and Liverpool.

The Blades progressed to the final with the game’s solitary goal, the two sides having drawn 1-1 at Fallowfield a few days earlier.

The game also provided Burnden with record gate receipts of £740 from the 20,000 crowd.

ON THIS DAY – March 23, 1907

BURNDEN staged its second FA Cup semi-final as Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1.

The Toffees had already won a cup game at Wanderers that season, taking their place in the fourth round with a 3-0 victory against Bolton after a replay.

ON THIS DAY – March 23, 1929

HAROLD Blackmore, Billy Butler and George Gibson were on the scoresheet as Wanderers reached the FA Cup final for the third time in the decade.

Huddersfield Town were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool’s Anfield ground as Bolton went through to face Portsmouth.

ON THIS DAY – March 23, 1946

YET another FA Cup semi-final for the Wanderers collection, but this one ended In disappointment as they went down 2-0 to Charlton Athletic at Villa Park.

FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 23, 1967

WANDERERS were concerned about losing their main car park at Burnden.

The Bolton Estates Committee decided to make trial borings on nine acres of Corporation-owned land at Rose Hill, which included the space behind the Embankment.

If the tests showed suitable results the land was to be recategorised for industrial use.

Bill Ridding, the Bolton Wanderers manager, warned that the loss of the car park could mean a headache to the club and an even bigger one to the police, with hundreds of extra vehicles parking in the side streets near to the ground.

His main concern was that the supporters’ access to the Burnden Embankment through the railway tunnel should not be affected.

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FROM THE BOLTON NEWS - March 23, 1992

WANDERERS stars joined pupils from Beaumont County Primary School in the Nationwide Football Against MS charity walk.

Phil Brown, pictured, led the way with schoolchildren Roshini Patel, Daniel Vickers, Rachel Cox, Kathryn Henrys, Andrew Johnson and Ben Challands.

But he was backed by a galaxy of other footballers looking to raise £3.5million for research. Even opera great Pavarotti donated the proceeds of his new single!

FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 23, 1996

WANDERERS furiously denied that Keith Branagan’s football career was over – but were now facing the prospect of looking for a new number one.

Branagan suffered a knee injury in a training session which many thought could be linked to the cruciate ligament damage he had encountered in the past – and in 1996 that was bad news indeed.

“I was going one way and then decided to go the other,” Branagan told The Bolton News. “Maybe my foot got stuck in the turf, I don’t know. But I knew straight away that I’d done some damage.”

Aidan Davison, who was preparing to line-up for the Northern Ireland B team against Norway, was the obvious replacement but Hull City’s Roy Carroll and veteran John Burridge had both been targets before a £250,000 bid was lodged to Bradford City for Gavin Ward.

(ALSO) FROM THE BOLTON NEWS on March 23, 1996

RANGERS assistant Archie Knox was at Burnden to check out England B international Alan Stubbs with just five days to go before the transfer deadline.

The £4million rated defender was hot property and various reports had linked Chelsea and Bruce Rioch’s Arsenal with a move for his services.

Stubbs’ fate was to go to Glasgow – but it wouldn’t be until the July of 1996 that he completed a £4m move to Rangers’ bitter rivals Celtic.

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