I’ll never forget staring longingly at The Reebok stadium every time I travelled from the Lake District to visit my grandma as a kid. Dreaming of one day being able to see the inside.
I’ll never forget my first game.
December 26th 2014. The volume of the fans before kick off. The biting cold. Status Quo blasting over the speakers. Renditions of Burnden Aces bouncing round the stadium. Eidur and Emile dismantling a strong Blackburn side.
I’ll never forget that intense feeling of belonging.
The optimism of my ‘honeymoon period’ of watching Bolton Wanderers was short-lived thanks to horrific mis-management, ownership battles, financial catastrophe and the parting of the ways with young and promising players on the cheap.
But amongst all the uncertainty and negativity, Bolton Wanderers remained.
Three years have passed since we first turned up in court thinking it might be the end. They have been far from easy, but have also given us memories of Phil Parkinson, Adam Le Fondre, Port Vale, Filipe Morais, Southend United and Aaron Wilbraham.
Fast forward to the present and it’s been a tough start to the season but also one which our young Whites have approached with defiance. I looked around me after the final whistle against Coventry and saw more than one grown man in tears, and I wasn’t far behind.
Once again, Bolton Wanderers had remained.
When will the takeover happen? Who will be the next manager? Will the EFL ever change into a useful organisation? What league will we be in next year?
I’d prefer to ask questions we know the answers to.
Will the years ahead be filled with more unbelievable Bolton Wanderers memories?
And what does all of the above mean?
Well it’s quite simple:
It means everything.