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Walsall v Bolton Wanderers - Played For Both Clubs: Gavin Ward

We look back on the career of an underrated goalkeeper

Gavin Ward of Bolton shouts some orders

Gavin Ward was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1970, slap bang in the middle of the summer of love.

A complete and utter journeyman, his former clubs included Leicester City, Aston Villa, Shrewsbury Town, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Bradford City, Burnley, Stoke City, Walsall, Coventry City, Barnsley, Preston North End, Tranmere Rovers, Chester City, Wrexham, Hednesford Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Bolton Wanderers and today's opponents Walsall. And breathe.

Turning pro at Villa in 1987, it would take Ward until 1989 before he made his professional bow at Cardiff City who were already his fourth professional club.

He made over 60 league and cup appearances for Cardiff in four seasons before moving to Leicester City for £175,000 where he help them to win promotion to the Premier League in 1994 under Martin O'Neill.

After leaving Leicester he had a short spell at Bradford before Bolton paid £300,000 for him in 1996, taking Ward back to the Premier League.

He would go on to spend three seasons at Bolton, primarily acting as back-up to Keith Branagan. He left having made 22 appearances including coming on a substitute in the famous 2-2 away draw to Tranmere Rovers in our title-winning season.

He would go on to spend the first half of the 1998–99 season on loan at Burnley before joining Stoke City on a permanent basis in March 1998.

He instantly established himself as first choice at Stoke and he played in all the club's 60 fixtures during a hectic 1999–2000 season which saw Stoke win the Football League Trophy and reach the play-offs as Stoke lost controversially to Gillingham. He was lost his place at Stoke and joined Walsall in the summer of 2002.

He would go on to represent Coventry City, Barnsley and Preston North End before joining Tranmere Rovers in June 2006. Ward made a bright start to the 2006–07, even managing to score a goal, which came from a free kick just outside his box in the 9th minute against Leyton Orient in 2006.

He was released by Tranmere and signed for Chester where he was reserve and coach. Later he would move to Wrexham before being released at the end of the 2008–09 season.

Ward went on to play for Hednesford Town during the 2008–09 season.

Following the appointment of Brian Little as manager of Gainsborough Trinity, Ward was appointed Assistant Manager as well as signing on as the club's reserve goalkeeper.

Ward retired from playing at the end of the 2010–11 season, leaving Gainsborough to become Goalkeeping Coach at Shrewsbury Town.

Ward also had a spell as Goalkeeping Coach at Nottingham Forest

Gavin, we salute you.