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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » ON THIS DAY: Big Sam's double vision & Diouf has Liverpool and Arsenal in sights

ON THIS DAY: Big Sam's double vision & Diouf has Liverpool and Arsenal in sights

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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From The Bolton News – April 1, 2000

SAM Allardyce stood on the verge of a dream double with Wanderers, having come a long way since picking up the managerial reigns on his 45th birthday.

Chasing Huddersfield and Birmingham for the final play-off place, his side headed to Wembley to face Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final.

The Whites had reached the last of the Worthington Cup before an agonising defeat at the hands of Tranmere and were aiming to make it second time lucky in their efforts to reach a final.

But for Allardyce, five months into the job, there was no prouder feeling than to lead a team out at the national stadium.

"For that team to be Bolton Wanderers is an even greater honour. I moved to the town at 15, married a Bolton girl and I'm still here."

Allardyce refuses to let emotion cloud his judgment nor the occasion distract him from his prime target.

"We're going right to the wire," he warned Wanderers' play-off rivals. "We could easily have faltered after the Worthington Cup semi-finals but we came through that, steadied things in the league and started moving again."

Skipper Mike Whitlow said the league pursuit would take precedence but could see no reason why Wanderers could not compete on both fronts.

"The semi-final and the next three games are going to sort it out," he explained. "It would be great to finish the season with a big cheesey smile.

"We want to win the FA Cup and we want to win the play-offs at Wembley and we've got the potential to do it. This is a big, big month for us."

From The Bolton News – April 1, 2007

EL-HADJI Diouf still had Arsenal and Liverpool in his sights as he willed Wanderers on to secure a Champions League spot against the odds.

The Senegal striker was sure that two wins over the Easter period could put Sam Allardyce’s side back on track for a top four finish.

A 1-0 victory against Sheffield United restored some confidence that the seven-point gap between Bolton and the Champions League spots was not insurmountable.

Sam Allardyce and the majority of his players believed the only realistic target is the UEFA Cup.

But Diouf would not give up the ghost. Encouraged by victory against the Blades, which ended a three-match losing streak and finally took Wanderers onto 50 points, he reckoned five more wins would secure a place in Europe's premier competition.

"We are not far off the Champions League now," Diouf said optimistically.

"Arsenal lost on Saturday (4-1 at Liverpool) and that was good for us.

"The most important thing for us to think about now is catching Arsenal and Liverpool.

"We played in the UEFA Cup last season and now I think the people are dreaming about the Champions League and we are dreaming about the Champions League.

"We want to finish fourth, not fifth.”

FROM The Bolton News – April 1, 1969

FANS packed into Burnden Park to support a testimonial game for club legend Roy Hartle, which turned out to be one of the most entertaining games they would see all season.

An official gate of 8,478 came to watch an International XI against an All-Stars XI, which featured a nostalgic return for homegrown talent Francis Lee, who netted five goals of 19 on the night.

The All-Stars emerged 10-9 victors on the night, which honoured the defender who fell just one short of 500 appearances for the club. Indeed, Hartle’s popularity was summed up when a crowd of just 8,172 turned up for the following weekend’s league game against Bristol City.

ON this day – April 1, 1916

JOE Smith netted the first hat-trick of the wartime era as Wanderers beat Bury 4-3.

The two clubs met each other four times over the course of the 1915/16 season but this was Bolton’s only victory.

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