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What Eidur Gudjohnsen Means to Me

With Bolton reportedly on the brink of re-signing their former striker, Chris takes a look at the player and what his previous Wanderers spell meant to him

Michael Steele/Getty Images

I don't mind saying it, but I am in love with a man. This may come as a surprise to my wife, or it may not. This may come as a surprise to my friends and family, or it may not.

I am not ashamed and I will not hide away from the truth. I am in love with a man. A beautiful man. A beautiful older man.

His name is Eidur Gudjohnsen, or to you hipsters, Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen.

Now 36, it is 14 years since the Icelandic forward last pulled on a Bolton shirt, but I will always look back on his short but sweet spell at Bolton Wanderers with fondness and great happiness. To think that we may well be on the verge of re-signing him pleases me greatly.

We all know that since leaving Wanderers, he went on to spend six successful seasons with Chelsea before moving to Barcelona, winning the Champions League in 2009, before going on an eclectic journey via Monaco, Tottenham, Stoke, Fulham, AEK Athens and Cercle Brugge, taking in a short trial in MLS with Seattle Sounders.

What might not be such common knowledge is that I've held a torch for the great man ever since he came into my life when I was a 15 year old lad.

I bought a ticket for Wanderers' cup tie at home with Hull City, and took my place in the North Stand - where I've sat on only two occasions. Once being the first UEFA Cup game at home to Lokomotiv Plovdiv, and the second being Eidur's debut.

I remember a podgy little blonde guy coming on as a late substitute, and making an immediate impression with his close control and neat touches. Little did I realise that by the onset of 1999 we'd have a new hero to worship.

Bolton Wanderers' hierarchy chose to sell Arnar Gunnlaugsson to Leicester City and Nathan Blake to local rivals Blackburn Rovers, and it fell upon the 21 year old former PSV forward Gudjohnsen to lead the line. He would go on to play an integral part in the club's run to the Play Off Final, although missed chances saw the Whites fall to a 0-2 defeat to Watford.

Despite this failure, the performances of Gudjohnsen struck a chord with me, and I, along with thousands of others, couldn't help but admire the man's obvious talent.

The next season saw a flourishing Gudjohnsen score 21 goals alongside luminaries such as Dean Holdsworth, Bo Hansen and Bob Taylor, including two of the best goals that I have seen at the Reebok.

The first being this solo classic against Wimbledon:

The second being an absolute stunner against Charlton Athletic in the club's run to the FA Cup Semi Final. The class of the man is not in question.

At 36, it is only right however that his 'legs' can be questioned.

Despite these legitimate concerns, I think the signing of Eidur Gudjohnsen is a no-brainer, and the club's decision to look closely at him in training and in a practice match speaks volumes as to how respected the man is.

I love Eidur and hope and pray that he is re-signed. It would make so happy.

I went on a stag weekend to Barcelona in April 2008, and one of the conditions of attending was that we took in a Barcelona match ostensibly to see the likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto'o and Yaya Toure - but for me there was only one attraction.

Eidur Gudjohnsen. I don't mind admitting that I bought a Barcelona shirt with his name and number on the back. High in the Nou Camp stands I was the only one cheering his name when it was read out.

I didn't care.

I believe that class is permanent.

Don't just take my word for it, take the opinion of Dorian Dervite:

"Just to say you train with him, irrespective of whether he signs or not.

"We all pick his brains, can't stop asking questions about Barcelona.

He continued:

"But there's more to him than finishing, he's a great hold up player.

"I think he'd be a great asset. He raises everyone's game.

"When you see someone who played for Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham and Monaco, that kind of quality rubs off on everyone.

Imagine him working with Craig Davies -- someone who could do all his running for him.

I'm salivating at the thought.

I've always loved Eidur Gudjohnsen. He may have only made 54 appearances, scoring 19 times, but his impact remains such that he is still revered by Wanderers supporters and you cannot say that about too many ex-Bolton players these days.

He might have been a victim of our cost-cutting measures in 2000, but the man left with class and was always welcomed back. Even when he scored against us I cannot remember any genuine displeasure towards the man being displayed by Wanderers fans.

His signing makes sense.

It'd also make me happy and let's face it Neil, that's the main thing.