Well, what a match that was. This has been a truly horrible season from start to finish, but John McGinlay and Tony Kelly's aim to give Bolton Wanderers fans the chance to finish the season with a smile was an overwhelming success.
Billed as a game for Legends, the 10,000 strong crowd had the pleasure to watch their footballing heroes just one more time. David Lee gave Liverpool fan John Bishop nightmares of that night at Anfield, Sasa Curcic appeared for a grand total of about 8 minutes, within which he fell over, ended up showing his arse and falling over again, and Jay Jay Okocha oozed with the sublime ability that he has been blessed with. Alan Stubbs, who has been tentatively liked with the Bolton job recently, was booed onto the pitch, showing that Wanderers fans are still yet to forget his act of treachery leading up to his departure for Celtic all those years ago.
It would prove fitting that John McGinlay, all 20 stone of him, scored the opener. A cross came in from Danny Jones (of McFly fame), which was met with a textbook bullet header. 1-0 Team McGinlay.
An equaliser came almost immediately. David Lee had showed early on in the game that he still has the pace to frighten full backs, but in true Lee fashion, flashed his shot way, way over. At the second opportunity, Lee crossed the ball once he'd found the byline, offering an inviting opportunity for Wembley hero and the author of Reading nightmares since 1995, Fabian De Freitas.
The biggest cheer of the first half came after roughly 20 minutes, when latecomer Fabrice Muamba was introduced to the crowd. There was something beautiful, frightening and surreal about Fabrice's introduction to the game, evoking memories of both that horrible evening at White Hart Lane and the emotional scenes at the Reebok against Blackburn Rovers in the days that followed.
Not everyone seemed comfortable with Muamba's introduction to the game, but it was fantastic to see Fab alive and well, let alone in a Bolton shirt once more.
Team McGinlay found themselves 3-1 up at half time, with goals from the man himself, and a brace for Jay Jay Okocha, who was that detached from the talent on show that at times it seemed almost unfair that he was playing. Danny Jones actually celebrated successfully tackling Okocha, and rightly so. Paddy McGuinness dealt with Jay Jay less convincingly, being left on his backside trying to deal with the Nigerian's trickery.
I'll be honest, the second half descended into almost farcical, yet hilarious, standards, with Tony Kelly hiding the ball up his shirt, trying to reciprocate Okocha's skill, and a dubiously awarded retake for a penalty, after Brannigan Jnr had saved from Fabrice Muamba's first tame effort.
The game itself finished 6-2 to Team McGinlay, with Okocha failing to have sufficient impact for Kelly's XI after switching sides at half time, though still managing to get his third goal of the game. Some players (Lee, Reid, McCann, Faye, Sneekes, Klasnic, and of course Jay Jay) looked in fine fettle, whereas others (Kelly, Thompson, Green) seem to have enjoyed retirement a little too much.
The best part of the entire occasion were the speeches from co-owner Dean Holdsworth, and team captains for the day, Kelly and McGinlay, which reminded everyone of why they were there. The proceeds from the day will be split between the club's community trust and supporter's trust.
McGinlay referred to the "hard times" experienced this season, but foresaw better days ahead. Kelly thanked the fans, telling all that the fans have given the players on the pitch "the best days of their lives", and that "we (the players) love you as much as you love us. Onwards and upwards!". Deano, who had played in the first half in the Wayne-Rooney-legs have gone so stick me in midfield role, thanked the "magnificent" fans for their attendance.
It was a perfect afternoon - Bolton couldn't lose, the sun was out, and we got to watch Jay Jay Okocha one more time. The Rioch era side that dominated the membership of both squads have lived and breathed Bolton Wanderers since they've left the club (shithouse Stubbs aside) and you can see how much the club means to those players.
And it's there that we can find positivity going forward. Let's start again, put this season behind us, and build a team that the town can be proud of. We as fans have the ability to set this club apart from others, and those that require evidence can look to last week's turnout at Fulham. If you're agonising over whether to buy a season ticket, go for it. Let's make this season the antidote for the last one, and our stay in League One short and sweet.