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What was the Greatest Burnden Park moment? You decide!

Vote for your favourite Burnden Park moment

John McGinlay

The 25th April marked twenty years since Bolton Wanderers' last game at Burnden Park, a resounding 4-1 win against Charlton Athletic.

I did go to Burnden, although I was only two. I'm told that every game I had a pie and fell asleep.

Seeing as I don't have anything else to say about my time at Burnden, let's hear from the fans who have fond memories of Bolton's former home.

I asked my fellow LOV writers Ian and Chris to share their Burnden Park memories, so here they are!

Chris - "First match – 30th January 1993 vs Brighton. I have very vague memories of being in the Lever End when Brighton were awarded a penalty. Dave Felgate saved it and I sat there, aged 9, waiting for a replay. Seriously.

I went on and off for years after that until the final year at Burnden when I got my first ever season tickets. I loved going every week and used to bug my family to take us as early as possible meaning that we were often first in the whole ground listening to Robert Miles ‘Children’ at least half a dozen times.

Favourite game – 27th November 1996 – 6-1 home win against Spurs in the Coca Cola Cup. We were a successful First Division side up against a serious Premier League outfit and we absolutely battered them. The atmosphere was sensational throughout and I still think we were jibbed out of a 7th when Scott Taylor was denied despite the ball clearly going over the line.

Favourite player – John McGinlay. Without question my all-time favourite Wanderer – I loved his personality and I loved his desire and commitment. A true hero.

Worst game 25th February 1996 – losing 6-0 to Manchester United. I looked forward to this game all season and when it came about we got absolutely tatered. Was embarrassed going back into school the next day to a class full of United fans."

Ian - "My introduction to Burnden Park started in 1978. Freshly promoted to Division One the following two years were a young boys dream. Frank scoring 'that' goal and Neil Whatmore's single handed effort against Liverpool and king Kenny, being the highlights. Strangely enough I also remember the news coverage of the undersoil heating being put in as a demonstration of Bolton back in the big time. It wasn't all delightful nostalgia though. Walking with my dad out of the A666 subway on the way to a match, in time to see a bloke in front nonchalantly picking and pocketing two large stones for some half time fun. No one batted an eyelid in an era where hooliganism reigned.

Then we had the downward spiral. Sir Nat begging home fans at half time, against a backdrop of laughing Charlton followers, to dip into their pockets to help save a club that'd overspent. There was a 6-3 home win against Cardiff. The Jim McDonald goal kick that bounced over the opposition goalie and into the net and then he nearly did it again! The wolf whistles to Tony Henry and his 'effeminate' white boots. This was the early eighties after all.

Relegation to division three not realising it'd be ten years before we got back. That Normid superstore eating into the ground. Non league signing Tony Caldwell's five goal feast in the 8-1 win against Walsall. An unthinkable relegation to division 4. Phil Neal's one season bounce back. A main striker called John Thomas that was Cockney slang for, well, Google it. He pumped the goals in that season though, so we could snigger and admire to the same degree. The rival had begun. Back in Division 3, the 4-1 Sherpa Van Trophy Wembley win against Torquay. Dave Higson's commentaries and video highlights. What a star he was. Ex Bolton hero, John Thomas leg break echoing around the stadium whilst playing for Preston. The heartbreak season ending in defeat to Tranmere in the play-off final.

Bruce Rioch, the white hot years of 92 to 95 that need no further explanation. Promotion to the the new Premiership. Rioch and McAteer leaving. Relegation soon followed. And then that final record breaking season. 100 goals scored and 98 points collected. Colin Todd's team heading back to the top the perfect end to a Burnden era. Final game, a 4-1 win at home Charlton. I bet Sir Nat smiled at that one. The Charlton fans weren't laughing then.

Burnden Park gave me 19 years of nostalgia and nightmares in equal measure. It was time to move on though. Burnden Park was long past its sell by date. A shiny new stadium and premier league football awaited."

Thank you to Ian and Chris, along with all the people who shared their favourite memories in two earlier articles. If you didn't catch those, they're up on the site.

Anyway, now it's time for you to vote for the Greatest Burnden Park Moment. Here are the nominees!


What was the Greatest Burnden Park Moment?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Frank Worthington's goal against Ipswich
    (23 votes)
  • 3%
    Tony Caldwell hits five against Walsall
    (3 votes)
  • 6%
    John McGinlay's promotion winning penalty 1993
    (6 votes)
  • 19%
    The 1995 Play-Off Semi-Final vs Wolves
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    Wanderers hit Spurs for six
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    Super John goes in goal
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    The Battle of Burnden
    (12 votes)
  • 11%
    Bye Bye Burnden: Bolton 4-1 Charlton
    (10 votes)
  • 9%
    FA Cup 1976: Bolton 3-3 Newcastle United
    (8 votes)
87 votes total Vote Now