So, unless you've been living under a rock for the last week and a half or so, we did it, against all the odds, we bloody did it.
Bolton Wanderers became the first team to recover from only attaining two points from their first eleven games and go on to survive, if thats not an achievement, I don’t know what is. Thanks go to our good friend Marc Iles at the BEN for this pub-quiz winning-worthy trivia.
Ignoring the actual reason behind my considerably lengthy absences which are down to technical issues out of my hands, instead I’m going to pretend that I’ve sat back, let it all sink in and deeply considered how I was to pay my tribute to what has been somewhat of a disastorous season with nothing less than a miracle on a par with the biblical one to round it off.
I haven't by the way, I was out celebrating up until about a week ago, since then, I’ve just been making my headache’s worse by banging my head against a wall trying to make this thing work. Of course, only in the incredibly short space of time which I take out of my day from watching Wilbraham’s winner to Jack Dearden’s commentary, music to my ears.
Anyway, speaking of partying, amongst all the more generalised heroics of Phil Parkinson, Adam Le Fondre and Aaron Wilbraham, there was one legend that stands head and shoulders above them all for his post-match heroics, David ‘Big Dave’ Wheater.
So, as this comes from the heart, lets all just take a minute to appreciate David Wheater...
Already prolific for his antics following our promotion at the end of last season in which it was rumoured Wheats didn’t go home for almost a whole week, with survival meaning more to most, including Wheater, than last time round, the celebrations were equally as heavy.
The first instalment of Wheater’s antics came when the post-match interviews were released on Youtube, during which Wheater interacted with our media man and the camera in a way like no other would and it was brilliant to watch. From then on, everyone knew what was coming next and it was like one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year.
By seven o'clock on Sunday evening, ‘del-boy’ Vela and Wheats had already been spotted and accompanied by those out for a peaceful pint on a Sunday to celebrate who inevitably joined the party, painting the town red, or white in this case, and unsurprisingly, caused a social media frenzy.
After hours of silence, Wheater re-surfaced online at about half past three in the morning on Instagram live as he bravely took questions from equally-plastered fans and serenaded his followers with Dave T.
As if he wasn't adored and appreciated enough by Wanderers fans for his openness and genuine affection for the club, late risers and/or those with their heads still firmly perched on the edge of a toilet seat were then enlightened once more in the middle of the afternoon as once again, Wheater and drinking buddy/best mate/WWE tag-team partner Josh Vela toured the ale houses of Bolton.
Similarly, the pair took to Instagram live to express their love for Bolton and entertained the hundreds who watched on, unable to brave another cold pint for the side effects of the many the night before and were entertained for a good half an hour before Wheats was pictured nursing a sore head as he was given lift home to bed, quite possibly for the first time in over thirty-six hours.
Incredibly, Wheater’s bender seemed to end there, however, having recently announced his retirement from international football which shocked the nat...no it din’t, but still, for all his post-season antics, Wheater is clearly a family man and knows where his loyalties lie which is always lovely to see.
His decision to call the party a day was almost respectful of those returning to work on the Tuesday who would've no doubt been extremely close to quitting their jobs to go and join Wheats for another round.
No more was thunk of the previous weekend’s events other than the video of Wilbraham’s goal which wasn't about to disappear from the internet anytime soon and seemed to get better with every edit, every angle and every watch, until...
Friday afternoon, when the end of the working week was agonisingly close, the official Twitter account announced a live Q&A with Dave and the afternoon flew by, as I’m sure you'll all agree, why can't they do this every Friday at 4 o'clock?
The fans were like kids in a sweet shop as hundreds tuned in, eagerly anticipating each next tweeted answer which was always going to end up ruining someone’s social media presence, and sure enough, it did. Savagely targeting those with beard’s, bad haircuts, and even his own team-mates!
Regardless of the cheap insults, the desperation for stories of Sunday night and the demand of an answer of where his future lies, there was one question on everybody’s lips...would he be out that weekend?
To which Wheats eventually replied “Are you paying?” Signalling the start of everyones weekend knowing the chance of bumping into Wheats at food factory in the small hours was a real possibility.
Sure enough, Saturday night came and the videos flooded twitter, and as ever, Wheats was hailed a true legend.
Take nothing away from Wilbraham and Alfie, between them they were nominated for knight hoods, statues, lifetime contracts and in Wilbraham’s case, even dedicated tattoo’s. Phil Parkinson too, what a man.
You have to agree though, Wheater is one of a kind. He must be the only one of his time and status to be so openly embarrassing, hilarious, drunk and so on, it’s just incredible and I’m so glad he's ours and I really hope he stays because he deserves it, all of it.
He loves Bolton and Bolton loves you, Wheats!
Whilst I’m at it, as requested...
Wheater is a Wanderer, Wheater is a Wanderer! Na na na na!
Here’s to you, Dave.
I love my club.