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They Played for Both Clubs: Paul Warhurst

Striker? Midfielder? Centre half? This lad had the lot.

Warhurst in his most famous appearance for the Whites
Warhurst in his most famous appearance for the Whites
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

The word versatile was invented to describe Paul Warhurst. In a career that spanned 20 years (1987-2007), Warhurst played in a multitude of outfield positions, from Manchester City to Grimsby Town, Crystal Palace to Wrexham.

All in all, Warhurst appeared for 16 clubs in his career, two of which being our beloved Bolton Wanderers, and tomorrow's opponents Sheffield Wednesday.

Warhurst signed for Sheffield Wednesday for a then impressive fee of £750,000 in 1991 after a three season spell at Oldham Athletic. Initially signed as a centre half, a striker crisis saw Warhurst employed as an emergency forward, scoring an amazing 12 goals in 12 games.

It was in this unfamiliar role that he was rewarded with a call up to the England squad for his first cap, however an injury forced him to pull out of the squad. Warhurst was never to be presented with the opportunity to represent his country again (unless you count his 7 Under 21 appearances).

After appearing in the 1993 League and FA Cup final (games which Wednesday lost to Arsenal on both occasions, 2-1 in the League Cup, and by the same scoreline once again in an FA Cup final replay after the first game finished 1-1), Trevor Francis wanted to deploy Warhurst as a defender once more. Warhurst reportedly threw the mother of all paddies, landing himself on the transfer list.

Leaving Sheffield for Blackburn Rovers for a once more impressive fee (£2.7 million in 1993), Warhurst was ironically played at centre half, winning a Premier League winners' medal in the 1994/5 season. After a short spell at Crystal Palace, he signed for the mighty Bolton Wanderers.

An early Sam Allardyce signing, Warhurst provided crucial Premier League experience in the 2000-1 promotion season, as Wanderers returned to the Premier League once more. As Allardyce strengthened the Wanderers squad, Warhurst's position in the squad was at risk, and after 91 appearances, he was released by the club.

Strangely, Warhurst was then re-signed by the club, but did not make another appearance, and was released only a month after re-signing for the Wanderers. In his time at the Reebok, Warhurst largely played in midfield, but also played both at centre half, and on rare occasions, up front.

He is best known for being one of the two red cards that Wanderers received at home to Leicester City in a 2-2 draw in December 2001. Sent off after only 19 minutes, Wanderers fell behind to an own goal from Michael Ricketts, and one minute later, Dean Holdsworth went for an early bath. In the space of four first half minutes, Wanderers were down to nine men and ffound themselves 1-0 down. A goal for Brian Deane looked to have wrapped it up for The Foxes, but Kevin Nolan's goal and a red card for Muzzy Izzet gave Bolton a lifeline. Ricketts made up for his earlier error with a 93rd minute equaliser.

Sam Allardyce, who wore a heart monitor for the game for television purposes (if you're old enough to remember Tonight With Trevor McDonald, it was on that), was dangerously close to a serious heart difficulty, with his heart rate reaching 160 beats per minute.

Dave Bassett's results were even more worrying, the monitorr discovering an irregularity in his heart beat during the game.

The stresses of a relegation battle, eh?