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ON THIS DAY: Wanderers address rumour they are about to sign Jurgen Klinsmann

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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We delved into the archives to find out what was happening on this day in history at Bolton Wanderers.

1997: Wanderers and Reebok laughed off speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann could be heading for Bolton in a spectatcular transfer coup.

Recent rumour suggesting the German ace was a Wanderers target was fuelled by the deal announced 11 days earlier that put the name of the sportswear giant on the new stadium at Horwich.

But top officials of the club and the company contemptuously dismissed newspaper reports suggesting Wanderers are in the running for the Bayern Munich star's signature.

Wanderers' chairman Gordon Hargreaves said the suggestion that Reebok had offered to sponsor Klinsmann's contract - said to be £50,000 a week - came from "dreamland".

He explained: "We are growing and we have ambition but we are not in that league yet.

"We have come this far on good housekeeping and we aren't going to do anything to jeopardise the progress we've made.

"I don't want to raise fans' hopes that we can compete with the top European clubs on the personal terms of players. We can't match their financial muscle."

Klinsmann, who was due to turn 33 in July, was considering another big money move in his glittering career and had been strongly linked with a return to Spurs. No smoke without fire, there!

Dave Singleton, Reebok vice-president Northern Europe who happens to be a lifelong Wanderers fan, described the suggestion that the company would be prepared to sponsor Klinsmann's transfer as "baloney"

"We obviously have a relationship with Jurgen Klinsmann and we have a partnership with Bolton Wanderers but it's pure speculation to suggest that the two could be connected in any way," he said dismissively.

"We have endorsement agreements with a number of players worldwide - Giggs and Batistuta for instance. But we don't control their playing contracts in any way.

"That's not a road we would want to go down. We have an endorsement contract with Klinsmann and we are happy to keep it that way.

"The idea that we would sponsor his contract seems to have come from the other side of the moon."

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2002: LIPPY critic Mark Lawrenson knew the time was up for his famed moustache after Wanderers sealed survival in the Premier League.

The BBC pundit, who had constantly tipped Bolton Wanderers to be relegated, was given a "put up or shut up ultimatum" by four fans who appeared on BBC 1's Football Focus earlier in the season.

And, despite looking nervous, the ex-Liverpool defender accepted a challenge to call time on his quarter of a century old lip furniture if Bolton stayed up against his cutting predictions.

Ipswich’s defeat to Manchester United was the result which finally ensured Sam Allardyce’s side would stay up – and secured some cash for Bolton Hospice.

A BBC spokesman suggested that if Bolton are to stay in the Premiership Lawro wanted the moustache to be cut as soon as possible so that he can grow it back in time for the World Cup.

Gary Parkinson, a member of the 'raggle-taggle group of moustache removers', says his clean-shaven face will be a public admission of how wrong the presenter was.

He said: "We are delighted. He cannot go on the show next time with his 'tache.

"It's going to be embarrassing for him but it serves him right - you cannot take a good club down.

"There is something to be said about moustaches after Sam Allardyce shaved his off at the beginning of the season."

Another member Simon Maddrell says he is hoping Sam Allardyce will be the man with the razor.

"It would be great if the towel was pulled off his face and there was big Sam sharpening his razor.

"Sam has been a fantastic manager. He has hired a lot of very good players and the way the players have improved their fitness and performance is outstanding. There are many people calling for him to get manager of the season."

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1982: George Mulhall’s side came back from QPR with their tails between their legs after suffering a humiliating 7-1 defeat.

It was Wanderers’ first-ever experience of a plastic pitch and, in the admission of striker Alan Gowling, a rude awakening.

The BBC co-commentator was taking to The Bolton News in January 2014 after Dougie Freedman’s team had been beaten by the same scoreline at Reading.

“It was a nightmare and a total embarrassment,” he said.

“We got hammered and let the fans down and did ourselves no favours in the process.

“We were not a bad side – we had players like Peter Reid in there.

“But we did not come to terms with the artificial pitch at QPR at all.

“We played more like Torvill and Dean; we couldn’t get the right footwear and it was all new to us.

“We still should not have been beaten seven, though.

“It has taken me 30 years to forget it - but the weekend brought it all flooding back.”

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1953: Bolton’s Nat Lofthouse was voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association, collecting his award on the eve of the FA Cup final against Blackpool.

Two years after he passed away, a collection of his memorabilia was sold by the family for more than £100,000 including the trophy, which fetched £10,000.

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