The date was was January 10, 2004. Bolton travelled to Ewood Park to take on local rivals Blackburn Rovers in a Premier League clash of the (kind of, but not really) titans. Bolton won the match on the day by a score of 4-3 but not before coming back from a 3-1 deficit.
Kevin Nolan opened the scoring for Bolton Wanderers in the first minute, a dream start. Blackburn were having none of that though and scored three goals straight through Vratislav Gresko, Dwight Yorke, and Andy Cole, all before the 35th minute. Youri Djorkaeff pulled one back for Bolton in the 43rd minute and Stelios Giannakopoulos equalized on 73 minutes. Kevin Nolan won it for Bolton in the 78th minute with his second goal of the day.
The Premier League looked mighty different then:
- Leicester City, Leeds United, Portsmouth, and Charlton all took part
- Bolton Wanderers finished 8th in the table that year, behind Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool Newcastle United, Aston VIlla, and Charlton
- Manchester United were the reigning champions, having won their eighth Premier League trophy the previous season.
- This was Arsenal's Invincibles season. They won 26 matches and drew 12 to win the Premier League with 90 points, finishing 11 clear of Chelsea.
- Jose Mourinho led Porto to the Champions League title, beating Monaco 0-3 at the Arena Aufschalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
This was part of Bolton's golden generation:
- Jay-Jay Okocha captained the side
- Kevin Nolan was Bolton's top scorer, finishing with 13 in all competitions. Kevin Davies, Youri Djorkaeff, and Henrik Pedersen finished behind him with those three on ten goals in all competitions.
- Bolton's XI with the most appearances in the Premier League was Jussi Jaaskelainen, Bruno N'Gotty, Simon Charlton, Emerson Thome, Ricardo Gardner, Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha, Kevin Nolan, Ivan Campo, Stelios Giannakopoulos, and Kevin Davies.
- Bolton Wanderers reached the final of the Carling Cup, losing 1-2 to Middlesbrough
Big thanks to Andrew Chadwick for doing the little bit of research to get us here