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Obituary: Phil Gartside

April 1952 - February 2016

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Phil Gartside was never out of the spotlight during his time at Bolton Wanderers. He was behind some of the club's greatest achievements and was involved in some of it's failings. During his time at the club, he oversaw four top-eight finishes and two Europa League campaigns.

Gartside attended Leigh Grammar School and quickly became a successful businessman. He joined the Bolton board in 1988, aged 35, when the club finished 3rd in the Fourth Division.

He became chairman in 1999, at the same time as Sam Allardyce became manager, after Bolton secured promotion to the premier league via the play off finals. He was involved in the signing of such players as Jay Jay Okocha, Nicholas Anelka and Kevin Davies. He also worked with five other managers, after Allardyce's resignation in 2007, among which were Gary Megson, Owen Coyle and Dougie Freedman. Gartside was often criticised for his appointment of managers, his last of was Neil Lennon.

During Gartside's tenure, Bolton twice entered the Europa League. The memories will last a lifetime, most famously Bolton's 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich, courtesy of a late Kevin Davies equaliser.

No stranger to animosity, some fans had been calling for his resignation. After relegation, many were unhappy at the club's practises. He was also investigated for perjury and fraud, regarding a transfer under former Bolton manager Sammy Lee, he was acquitted in 2015.

He left his role as Chairman in November, due to ill health, whilst trying to aid in the search for a new owner for the club.

For better or for worse, Gartside gave everything he had to Bolton. He will be missed.