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Bolton Wanderers: The Last Goalscorer

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Wayne Rooney's record breaking has got Eddie thinking

Michael Ricketts

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that in the past week Wayne Rooney became Manchester United's all time top goalscorer, scoring his 250th goal against Stoke City. You might think, what relevance does this have to Bolton Wanderers? Well, Rooney is now the 19th all time top goalscorer for a single cub in English football history. As you can see from the tweet below, there are two Wanderers players above him: Joe Smith and Nat Lofthouse.

Since the club's inception in 1877, Bolton have been blessed with some incredible strikers. Joe Smith, David Jack, Nat Lofthouse, Franny Lee, Frank Worthington, Neil Whatmore, Andy Walker and John McGinlay being just some of the names.

Nat Lofthouse, the Lion of Vienna himself, has held the title of Bolton Wanderers all time top goalscorer for nearly sixty years, with a staggering 285 goals. The only player to have come close in my lifetime to beating Lofthouse was John McGinlay, who left Bolton in 1997 having scored 118 goals.

John McGinlay was also the last Wanderers player to finish as top goalscorer in a division, scoring 24 goals as Bolton were promoted to the Premier League as Division 1 Champions in 1997.

Joe Smith still holds the record for most goals in a season, scoring 38 in 1921.

Since McGinlay's departure, only two players have scored more than fifty goals for Bolton, Kevin Nolan and Kevin Davies. Here's a look at Wanderers' top scorers in the last twenty years:

Nine of the eleven players above have been top goalscorers for a season, but only three of those players have scored fifteen or more in a season. Since Michael Ricketts scored 15 in the 2001/2002 season, no Bolton player has scored more than 12 in a season. Not even Nicolas Anelka.

In fact, a Bolton player hasn't hit double figures in a season for four years now, when Chris Eagles managed 12 in the 2012/2013 season. This season, things should change. With nearly half the season left, Zach Clough has eight goals and should surely break into double figures.

Goals have been coming from all areas of the pitch this season, the complete opposite to when Bolton were last in the 3rd tier. Back in 1993, Andy Walker and John McGinlay scored 42 of the 80 league goals that season, whilst Zach Clough and Gary Madine have scored just 13 of the 35 goals so far this season.

It's not vital that Wanderers have a 'goalscorer', so long as they continue to put away chances when it matters. Although, considering the plethora of talent that Wanderers have had up front over the years, isn't it time Bolton got the goalscorer they deserve?

Given the fact that it's rare that players stay at the same club in the long-term, it seems unlikely that Nat Lofthouse's record will ever be beaten.

But will a Bolton player top the goalscoring charts any time soon?