England begin their final preparations for what promises to be another disappointing World Cup campaign. As the world looks towards international football and Russia lets look at Bolton Wanderers’ international contingent starting with tonights opponents.
Fabian de Freitas
The man who fired Bolton Wanderers into the Premier League.
That is the one moment that Bolton fans will always remember him for. 2-0 down with 15 minutes to play and a certain Owen Coyle halves the deficit giving hope that a fightback could be on, and that it was. On the 86th minute de Freitas would score the Bolton equaliser forcing the game into extra time. He then scored Bolton’s fourth, and thanks to a Reading consolation this was the goal which won the club promotion to the promised land, completing the Bruce Rioch journey.
In his 40 appearances for Bolton he only scored 7 goals. But sometimes a striker isn’t measured by how many he scores but how important those goals are.
The striker would never appear for the Netherlands at any level internationally.
Sneekes played for Bolton during 1994-1996 rather like his fellow country man. This means that he was also part of that promotion winning side, but he then struggled to hold down a place in the top flight. Another highlight of his time at Bolton was the 1995 League Cup final against a Liverpool team boasting the likes of Ian Rush, Steve McManaman and John Barnes. Liverpool would of course run out 2-1 winners on the day. Sneekes was though the only Dutchman in the squad that day with de Freitas missing out.
Sneekes longest spell in England was with West Bromwich Albion where he became something of a cult hero after making an instant impact to help save the club from relegation. People were even spotted wearing blond wigs in his honour. This is a well trodden path for Bolton’s Dutchmen as he was later joined by de Freitas.
Sneekes never won a full cap for the Netherlands but he did appear on a couple of occasions for their under 21 side while at Ajax in the late 80s.