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To The Love of My Life

One fan’s obsession with his football team

Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Sunday is the accumulation of 45 games and 9 months of hard work. Everything we've done to this point comes down to 90 minutes. A transfer embargo, the loss of Zach Clough on transfer deadline day, the ownership squabbles behind the scenes; it'll all mean nothing come noon on Sunday.

It's become an obsession. I'm restless at all times of day. When I allow my mind to wander, it's immediately occupied by the obsessive thoughts of what may happen this bank holiday weekend.

What if Madine isn't fit? What if the crowd get restless if we don't take an early lead? What if the occasion gets to the players?

What if we do it? What if we defy the odds that the Football League handed us by placing us in a transfer embargo? What if for the first time in our history we bounce straight back from the third tier?

Over the Easter weekend I warned about becoming sick. I haven't taken my own advice. I'm sick with anticipation, worry, anxiety, excitement and hope. For the first time in a long time, we've had a season to remember and a team to be proud of. We've loved football again.

One thought that keeps coming back to me again and again is this; I believe in Bolton Wanderers.

I believe in you, Mark Howard, and the clean sheets you've amassed this season.

I believe in you, Dorian Dervite, and the new form you've found since returning to the team.

I believe in you, Mark Beevers, the best centre half in the league bar none.

I believe in you, David Wheater, who has led by example with every minute of every game.

I believe in you, Andy Taylor, who in just one season has become a Wanderer, and single handedly the best thing to come out of Wigan since winter nips.

I believe in you, Filipe Morais, whose form has been nothing short of phenomenal when we needed it most.

I believe in you, Jay Spearing, the heartbeat of the team.

I believe in you, Josh Vela, who has come of age in a crucial season and pitched in with some crucial goals.

I believe in you, Darren Pratley, who has played through the pain barrier to get us over the line.

I believe in you, Adam Le Fondre, who plays like a Wanderers fan whose dream to play for the Whites has come true, yet finishes like a seasoned professional.

I believe in you, Gary Madine, who has proven the doubters wrong by becoming our most valuable player this year.

I believe in you, Phil Parkinson, who has handled a club in crisis, a squad in flux and a transfer embargo to build a team that can succeed and a spirit that the club had sucked out of it in recent years.

I believe in you, Bolton Wanderers; the love of my life.

One more game. 90 minutes. Once more unto the breach. One more win. That's all we ask.

Come on you Whites!