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Bolton Wanderers’ Record Appearance Makers: Europe - The Midfield

As we take a look through the clubs European imports we move into midfield.

Soccer - Carling Cup - Final - Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images

For the second part of our European tour we take a look at the midfielders who have turned out for Bolton the most times.


CM: Per Frandsen - 304 apps - Denmark

Bolton v Middlesbrough
Frandsen wheels away having netting the opening goal against Middlesbrough on the last day of the season.
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Frandsen started out at B 1903 in 1988, scoring 15 goals in 25 appearances as he burst onto the scene in the top flight. Following his success with B 1903 French side Lille OSC came in making him a record signing. Frandsen spent four years in France before returning to Denmark to play for FC Copenhagen. He spent two years back in his home land racking up over 50 appearances.

In 1996 Bolton made their first move for Frandsen, signing for £1.25 million. He did not take long to show his quality as Bolton were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season. His form that season revived his international career which had stalled a few years earlier. Frandsen would travel to the 1998 World Cup while playing for Wanderers.

In typically Bolton fashion financial troubles kicked in and Frandsen was sold to Blackburn Rovers against the wishes of manager Colin Todd, leading to his resignation. He spent only one year at Blackburn, playing over 30 games but never settling in.

Blackburn sold him back to Bolton at a slight loss the next year and Frandsen would go on to help Bolton return to the top flight and consolidate themselves amongst the league’s elite. The photo at the top is Frandsen scoring the opener as Bolton won 2-1 to retain their top flight status against Middlesbrough. His last season at the club was the first when Bolton really announced themselves on the Premier League with an eighth place finish and a League Cup final.

Frandsen ended his career with a short stint at Wigan Athletic, who achieved promotion to the Premier League themselves that season. In addition to his domestic career he played for Denmark 25 times in 13 years, representing his country at the 1992 Olympic Games in addition.

Following a spell as an agent, Frandsen moved into coaching and later management. He is currently the manager of Danish second tier side Hvidovre IF.

CM: Ivan Campo - 194 apps - Spain

Wigan Athletic v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Campo started out with Deportivo Alaves in the Spanish second division. He made around 50 appearances in over two years with Alaves before moving to Valencia.

He was not able to nail down a first team place with Valencia and spent a spell with Real Valladolid who he helped avoid relegation from La Liga.

He left Valencia for newly promoted Mallorca in 1997 and he helped the newly promoted side to a fifth place finish, in a season where they conceded 39 goals in 38 games.

The next season he joined Real Madrid, who had finished the previous season only three points ahead of Mallorca in fourth. He spent around four years in Madrid, playing in the 2000 Champions League final where Real beat fellow La Liga side Valencia. Real also lifted La Liga, Supercopa de Espana and the Intercontinental Cup during Campo’s time at the club.

On falling out of favour in 2002 Campo ended up at Bolton, I think it is fair to say catching everyone by surprise. Campo went straight into the team, if memory serves scoring in a 3-2 loss to Liverpool. His form during the season led to a belief he would return to Real, who put a new contract on the table. Campo though chose to remain in Bolton, and became a key component in Bolton’s rise up the league.

Always horribly overlooked in conversations about the Premier League’s many great passers of the ball, he adapted to life in Bolton’s style of play upon moving into defensive midfield from central defence. His many highlights include his wonder strike from some 45 yards out against Tottenham Hotspur and topping the red and yellow cards charts in the 2006/07 season.

When Sam Allardyce left Campo was quickly removed from the first team by Sammy Lee before being restored just as quickly. He was once again a key player as Bolton battled the drop. Pantomime villain Gary Megson did not offer Campo a new contract or chance to say goodbye, probably just to piss off the Bolton faithful.

On leaving Bolton he joined Championship mainstays Ipswich Town, but failed to make a real impact for Roy Keane’s side. On leaving Ipswich he joined AEK Larnaca in Cyprus, and retired after a year there.

He did have a short international career, making it into the Spain squad for the 1998 World Cup. In addition he made a couple of appearances for a Basque Country side.

Remarkably there is a British Indie band called Ivan Campo, which I am now enjoying while writing this.

CAM: Michael Johansen - 170 apps - Denmark

Soccer - AXA FA Cup - Semi Final - Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images

Johansen started his career with Kjobenhavns Boldklub before moving to B 1903. He made his debut for Kjobenhavns along with his twin brother Martin, who he would link up with on a couple of occasions.

The Johansens joined Copenhagen in 1992, a couple of years before Frandsen and for the clubs first year in existence. That year they won the Danish Superliga title.

Michael moved in a different direction to his twin on joining Bolton in 1996, helping the club to promotion in his first season. He remained with Bolton when they dropped into the second tier again and stayed with the club until 2000. He played in the FA Cup semi final against Aston Villa and was one of two to see their penalties saved.

On leaving Bolton he returned to Denmark with AB Copenhagen and made his national team debut. He ended his career with Greve IF where he was reunited with Martin.

Since retiring Johansen has worked as an agent.