Welcome to the refreshed Lion of Vienna Suite! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post.
It's a funny thing, football. It unites us and it divides us. It brings together people from all over the world, and makes us despise others with similar passions.
Bolton Wanderers is our chosen poison. It would've been nice for us to all be Barcelona supporters, but some of us don't have that sort of luck.
So it is that we sit here and tell you why we are Bolton fans. This is from the heart and I am sure you'll enjoy every word:
Being a Bolton Wanderers fan is never easy. I became a fan because my Dad started taking me to games when I was two. I've remained a fan ever since because there's nothing better, it's addictive. When you support a bigger team, you expect success. With Bolton, you don't expect it. So when it happens, it's the greatest thing in the world. You live for those stand out moments.
I am a Bolton supporter because my Dad took me 16 years ago and I instantly fell in love. Everything from the shape of the lights at the Reebok to the ridiculous heroes like Mustapha Riga, I wouldn’t change any of it. Each season gets me just as excited as it did back then and I can’t see me ever getting bored of the rollercoaster that is Bolton Wanderers.
It's a question I often get asked, and one to which there is a simple answer: it's in my blood. I was born and raised in Bolton, and some of my closest and lifelong friends still live there. The majority of my family are there or in the surrounding area too. However, if you put that to one side, there are thousands of reasons why I love this club. I was born in Bolton's heyday - a time of Bruce Ricoh and Sam Allardyce, where "the big teams" would dread playing little old Bolton. I've watched us grace the arenas of Europe with our football and seen us slump to defeat in two of Britain's biggest. On the flip side, I've seen us slide rapidly down the English leagues and face one of the biggest recorded debts in English football's history. After having a manager for almost 10 years, I've seen us change personnel countless times since he departed and I've seen more players come and go than I care to mention but, in spite of all this, I'm still around. I've inherited seats at the Macron from my Grandad, and I intend to keep them until my dying day. I love this club and everything about it. Viva Phil Parkinson, and viva the Bolton Wanderers circus. Sky Bet Championship? Bring it on.
Almost as soon as I was born I had a bolton hat placed on my head by my father. From then on I didn't have a choice in the matter. Since then I've seen the best and worst of football and I still keep coming back. I love it and I know that if I keep on coming back to football eventually I'll be rewarded. Games like the Peterborough match make it all worth it. The highs football can provide turn a fan into an addict and I don't ever want go cold turkey.
In a word? Dad. He's been a Wanderer all his life, and after marrying into a Manchester United supporting family, he probably had nightmares of bringing up a glory hunter. He even tried to call me Bruce - mum wasn't having any of that. I got my first kit aged 3, and my first season ticket on the Lever End aged 5. Once I'd got the bug, that was it. I was obsessed. I still am. The best present I've ever been given is the football team my dad gave me.
"As the latest generation of a Bolton born and bred family, Burnden Park was the only option, despite me actually being born in Wigan and raised in Bury! Wanderers are in my blood with an inherited passion. There can be no other club.
After a misspent youth divided between Burnden Park, with my Boltonian family, and Old Trafford with the Salfordian element, I was offered a choice at age 10. I chose Bolton Wanderers. Since then there have been high highs and desperately low lows, but it's an obsession that I've had ever since I knew what football was, and I'll never shy away from admitting that I love Bolton Wanderers. They test me, they annoy me and yet I keep coming back. I even try to run a BWFC blog in what little spare time I have. I work on Football Manager as the Bolton data researcher. I love the lows. I love the highs, but most of all I love how utterly bonkers the club is. It's not easy being a Bolton fan, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Why I’m a fan is a difficult question to answer because I literally do not remember why. Watching Bolton vs Middlesbrough, last day of the season to stay in the Prem is one of my earliest memories. How I got there is, in many ways, a mystery, and I’m not just talking about the match itself as I assume that was by car, though have no memory to prove this... Sure my Dad has been a fan for many years, and of course its his fault I had to support Bolton. He even asked me that day if I would still go to Division One games and the answer was, of course, yes, I was already hooked, though couldn’t tell you why. Beyond that though its rather like asking whats the point of Conor Wilkinson, who knows.
Since my fifth birthday, through generation and generations, my family brought me up to become a Bolton Wanderers fan. I will never forget my first game, Aston Villa at home in the cup, I've never experienced anything like it. Ever since then, Bolton Wanderers has been my drug, a never ending part of my life, and single handily one of the most influential things ever to appeal to me. Watching the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Fernando Hierro and Nicolas Anelka was enough to get me addicted. Since that game under the lights, I've had a season ticket watching the Whites, urging them on through the good, the bad and the ugly. This season has summarised and reminded me why I’m a Bolton fan. Since our relegation from the Premier League, to come back fighting and be on the rise again feels deserved, it feels right, and it’s the best feeling in the world. By sticking by Bolton, I felt like I and we, the supporters, as a whole, have earned the right to feel good about football again. The fan base who have collectively shown their unwavering support since that game at the Britannia Stadium and the game at Wembley in 2011and were a part of our triumphs this season, at the Macron, in the sold out away ends, and the cold and rainy Tuesday nights at the opposite end of the country is what being a football fan is really about. Even through all the misery, the dark times and most importantly, the good, I’m so glad to have been a part of this club and its journey so far, back to where we belong. I will never look back with regret on becoming a Bolton fan and they'll always be a part of my life no matter how near or far. As the chant goes “Bolton till I die! I’m Bolton till I die! I know I am! I’m sure I am! I’m Bolton till I die!”
Like I'm sure many have said here, I remember my dad taking me to the Lever End as my earliest memories. I loved everything about it, even the smell of piss. I was hooked from an early age and growing up in one of our most successful eras could only cement my love for the club. Being a proud Horwicher as well I can't imagine how I could have ended up anything other than a Bolton fan
I'm a fan for the bad times that amplify the good times, I'm a fan because this club could survive a missile blast, I'm a fan for the players who come here and end up loving the club the same way I do, I'm a fan for the closely knit bond between the fans, I'm a fan because Bolton is my hometown and I wouldn't want it any other way
The year was 1978 and for some reason my family decided to go to Burnden Park to watch City play Bolton in the first division. For reasons to long to go into here I got lost and was looked after by the club. They took such great care of me I didn't forget that when some years later me and my season ticket were thrown unfairly out of the Stretford End. I switched allegiance and haven't looked back. Actually I have looked back but I could never go back.
Why I'm a fan of Bolton Wanderers is a questions I've often asked myself over the years, especially at times of great suffering and peril. I could have quite easily had it easy. My dad and wider family are all Manchester United fans, i could have fairly gone with them and had the pleasure of witnessing countless triumphs rather than, yknow. But regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way. My first Bolton match was a chance thing. My best mate was away for the first game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur so we went instead. Within 15 minutes Ivan Campo had blasted a goal in from 40 yards and Kevin Davies had scored a trade mark header. I was hooked. I was in love. Before long I had my own season ticket and had one for the next 9 years until university came calling. But again, why do I support them? I think it's because football isn't about the highs and victories, it's about the shit you endure. It's about traveling 200 miles only to lose in the last minute in the pissing down rain. It's about losing your best players for a pittance. It's about anguishing over team selections and begrudging player mistakes. It's about all the awfulness and , every now and then, like when I got to run on the macron pitch to celebrate promotion, the small but ever lasting victories you get in between.
Like, I suspect, many of you out there I first became a Bolton Wanderers fan because of my dad. As you may have been able to detect from my appearances on the LOVpod I didn’t grow up in Bolton, and as a young child growing up in the Midlands I attempted that heinous act of trying to be a Man United fan. I even had a United kit. But my dad wasn’t having any of it and my first ever Bolton match at Bristol City and being dragged to the likes of Swansea’s old home Vetch Field, Walsall’s old ground, and a win over Reading (I think) - in which I distinctly remember seeing myself jumping up and down celebrating on the TV highlights when we scored - and watching us beat Liverpool on live TV in that amazing 1993 FA Cup run had me set for life as a Bolton fan. My love for the club was cemented by trips to the old Wembley to see us lose the League Cup Final to Liverpool back in 1995 and that glorious play-off final victory over Reading, and the good old days at Burnden Park, including seeing fans run onto the pitch after the 1-0 home win over Preston to seal promotion to the second tier when I was just 8-years-old - and I’ve not looked back since. Sure they annoy me, they test my patience and leave me in despair at times, but moments like seeing us beat Atletico Madrid, watching Big Kev Davies score against Bayern Munich, the last day of the season win over Middlesbrough and this season’s promotion make the pain very much worthwhile. And I’m so glad I never followed through on that threat of supporting United.