Mount Rushmore. Found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA.
Hewn into rock you’ll find the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in 60ft granite relief.
A tangible space, yet often used as a metaphorical cipher for brilliance, respect and prominence. Deeply, deeply impressive. A spectacle and a marvel of the modern world.
People speak about their own personal Mount Rushmore as being the sort of space that separates the legend from the ordinary. The icon from the figure. It’s inspiring.
So, with that in mind, I’ve narrowed down my Bolton Wanderers’ Mount Rushmore to the following four. You probably won’t agree. I don’t care about that.
1) Sam Allardyce
A divisive figure but one who was key to the most enjoyable time in my time supporting Bolton Wanderers. Yeah people will tell you that he’s a wrongun but if you choose to only see that side of the man then to me you’re missing the point.
His work at Bolton was revolutionary and to my mind speaks for the underlying modernity of English football today. Sports science, rehab, intelligence in the transfer market - all key tenets of Sam’s time at Bolton.
Often copied, rarely bettered.
2) John McGinlay
For years my absolute favourite human being and footballer.
I loved SJM. He was my favourite Wanderer back when I was a nipper heading to the match before I knew what it was to be a football supporter.
To laugh at him joining the warm-up once the running was finished was to ignore what he had to bring to the table as a player. That oft-repeated goal against Arsenal in our sole Premier League season at Burnden Park speaks to a rare talent.
A short while ago I was lucky enough to speak to him as part of this site’s podcast. It was a very special experience and one I’ll never ever forget.
3) Ivan Campo
I remember exactly where I was when he joined us. I was at the bar at the (now defunct) University Tavern at UCLAN, Preston.
To think that Bolton had signed someone who had won the European Cup with Real Madrid not two seasons prior was beyond comprehension.
Campo was a wonderful player but more he was a wonderful person. An obviously committed soul, Ivan was a fan favourite at a time when we had a list of half a dozen who could easily have borne that title.
The nature of his departure still leaves a sour taste and I cannot wait for the day that he returns to the Reebok. My absolute man.
4) Kevin Davies
Yeah a massive FU to those who may think this overly sentimental but in the interest of full disclosure there isn’t much that I particularly like about Bolton Wanderers in 2019.
I don’t really like many of the players and I don’t really like the manager, meaning that all I have is the past.
Davies was a player who arrived with barely any fanfare but was someone who sheer force of will ended up being, in my opinion, one of the best players we’ve had in many, many a year.
His commitment, desire and obvious love of the club and town was apparent from day one and I loved every one of his appearances and goals for the side. There can be few players in recent years who match SKD’s desire and achievements whilst playing and captaining this club and I will love him forever as a result.
I don’t often miss writing for this site these days, it’s not quite the same place as the one I left behind and that’s on me, I totally accept that - the new broom has its own style, but I was jealous when the lads got to interview Kev. I would’ve given my right arm to be there for that show. He came across as a top guy and I was so happy to hear his stories. I bet there are a thousand more to be told.
So there you go. My personal Mount Rushmore. I bet you don’t agree.
I don’t care. This is my list. There are many like it, but this one is mine.