So, yeah. Back in November, I thought I'd have a look at the history of Bolton Wanderers squad numbers back from when we were first in the Premier League. It was intended to be a weekly thing, but then, y'know, Christmas.
So, nearly two months later, here we go again with number two.
The right back, usually. If you go back into the mists of time and find yourself back at the 1958 FA Cup Final, which we won fair and square and don't let anyone with a strange accent tell you any different, the late great Roy Hartle was your man. By the time of the 1995 League Cup final, the holder of the number was:
Scott Green - 1995-1996
Green kept the number after promotion for our one season back in the top flight. Having been at the club since the third division days, he was one of the players to stick around all the way to the top. And then down again. A bit like one of The Grand Old Duke of Yorks men. By the next promotion he had gone where many retired Bolton players end up. Wigan Athletic, where he played for another six years. For some reason. Maybe they chained him in the basement after games. That can be the only reason he stayed there that long.
Neil Cox 1997-1999
Beware the player who has just been relegated with one club, for if you sign him, there is a good chance you yourself will be relegated also.
So said Aristotle in 320BC, and when he said this, he was surely talking about Neil Cox. Signed by Bolton from the recently relegated Middlesbrough, he was immediately relegated with Bolton. After a season and a bit in Division One with the Wanderers, Cox signed for Watford, who had beaten Bolton in the play off final the season before. And was immediately relegated. Stints at Cardiff, Crewe and Leek, where he was manager, followed and he is now assistant manager at AFC Wimbledon.
John O'Kane - 2000-2001
Signed on loan from Everton to ostensibly replace Cox, the deal was made permanent soon after.
I remember O'Kane playing for Manchester United back in the early nineties, when my red supporting friends (sorry) said he was the next big thing. As such things are at the Theatre of so called Dreams, this wasn't a reality and he was bumped around on loan before settling at Everton, not making the grade there and coming to us. After we were promoted he was quickly jettisoned to Blackpool, poor lad, and ended up at Hyde.
Bruno N'Gotty - 2001-2002
Signed on loan early in the first Premier League season back, Bruno eventually settled on number five, where we'll have a better look at him.
Bernard Mendy - 2002-2003
Signed on loan from Paris St Germain in one of Big Sam's magnificent uses of the loan system, Mendy only spent one season at The Reebok but acquitted himself well enough to return to Paris and become a regular and also make three appearances for the French national side. He came back to the Premier League under Phil Brown at Hull for two seasons and is now knocking round the Indian Super League at the age of thirty five.
Anthony Barness - 2003-2005
Barness had been wearing the number 24 for the previous seasons, but as number 2 is for the right back historically, then I'll put him here.
When we were promoted in the play off final, I seem to remember Ray Wilkins pointing to players like Barness and saying that they probably weren't good enough for the Premier League. I remember him as a committed player who put everything into his game. He may not have been a regular starter but when he did, he let no one down. After his release, he bounced around the south coast and is now a ceramic tiler (according to an interview he did with the Bolton News a few years back).
Nicky Hunt - 2005-2009
Where in the name of your specific deity do you start with Nicky Hunt?
As my hard as nails mum always pointed out, for someone of his height, he still managed to make it look as if his kit was two sizes too big for him.
Still, Big Sam liked him but he didn't fit with his eventual replacement (we'll gloss over the Little Sam months). Not many players have found themselves frozen out as quickly as Nicky Hunt found himself at Bolton after Megson arrived and he spent the rest of his time at the club out on loan. There are many tales of how badly some players were treated by the club once Big Sam left, and whilst Hunt wasn't the biggest of names, he was a local lad and a former England U-21 player who had always seemed to fit Bolton like a glove. So screw you Megson.
Anyway, Nicky still plays and is a regular for Leyton Orient, having been signed by Kevin Nolan in the five minutes he was in charge there.
Gretar Steinsson - 2010-2012
The Icelandic international had been number 25 when he first arrived, but again as this is the right back number we'll deal with him here.
Signed by Megson, in one of the rare occassions he did something right, he was pretty much the first choice right back until he was released after our relegation season. Was married to Miss Iceland and, apparently, is now technical director at Fleetwood. Is now divorced. Can't be sure if those two things have anything in common.
Tyrone Mears - 2012-2014
Yeah. Let's just gloss over this one.
Kevin McNaughton - 2014-2015
McNaughton had two spells on loan with the Wanderers from Cardiff, first in 2013 and then again in 2014-2015. Was first choice in his first spell but struggled to get onto the pitch in the second once Neil Lennon took over, although I do seem to recollect an injury. Anyway, nothing to see here, carry on.
Prince -Désir Gouano - 2015-2016
Not one that many will want to remember, although I think some members of the LOV fraternity still go weak at the knees at the mention of his name. Prince, as he was styled, joined from Atalanta on a season long loan but had it curtailed as either a) he was too shit even for us or b) we were too shit for him.
So back to Atalanta he went after nineteen league games. Almost immediately he went on loan to Turkish side Gaziantepspor and is on loan again this season at Vitoria Guimaraes where he has played a whole total of three games.
Lewis Buxton - 2016-2017
Your latest holder of the jersey is Lewis Buxton, a man who divides opinion.
Well, not really.
So that's your number twos. Next comes, apparently, three.