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Bolton Wanderers and the World Transfer Record

Eddie writes about the time Wanderers were the big spenders

International Champions Cup 2017 - Real Madrid v FC Barcelona Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As if this transfer window couldn’t get any more bonkers, Neymar has agreed to leave Barcelona and join Paris Saint Germain for a reported £198 million.

The game has officially gone mad.

The Brazilian is set to earn around £515,000 a week after tax, which is absolutely crazy.

With Neymar’s move set to more than double the previous world transfer record, I thought I’d look back at the time Bolton Wanderers were involved in not one, but two world record breaking transfers.

And they both involved the same player.

It’s 1920. 22 year old Bolton born forward David Jack moved from Plymouth Argyle back to hometown club Bolton Wanderers for a fee of £3,500, a new world record.

Without doubt, Wanderers got value for money with David Jack.

Jack spent eight years with Bolton, scoring 161 goals in 324 games. During his time at Burnden Park, Jack played in two FA Cup wins. Firstly, Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley as Wanderers beat West Ham United 2-0 in The White Horse Final of 1923.

Three years later, David Jack scored the only goal as Wanderers beat Manchester City 1-0.

David Jack is currently the third highest goalscorer in Bolton Wanderers’ history, behind Joe Smith and of course Nat Lofthouse.

A true Wanderers legend, David Jack moved to Arsenal in 1928, for another world record fee of £10,890. Much like Neymar, the fee caused some outrage, with Sir Charles Clegg, head of the Football Association at the time, stating that he believed no player was worth £10,000

The story behind David Jack’s move to Arsenal is interesting to say the least.

Bolton Wanderers had originally told Arsenal they wanted a hefty £13,000, but Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman had a plan to lower the fee.

Chapman invited a Wanderers delegation down to London for drinks, and instructed the barman to give his guests whatever they wanted, so long as he served them double measures.

Unknown to Wanderers at the time, all of Chapman’s drink were non-alcoholic. So when the Bolton staff were happily drunk many rounds later, Chapman was able to sneakily lower the price down from £13,000 to £10,890.

David Jack continued his scintillating form at Arsenal. In six years at Highbury, Jack scored 124 goals, making him the tenth highest goalscorer in The Gunners’ history. Jack’s goals helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in 1930, as well as three league titles in 1931, 1933 and 1934.

David Jack also belongs to a special group of players who have been involved in two world record transfers. Who are the other players? Argentina legend Diego Maradona and Brazilian icon Ronaldo.