So this is not the 11 players who have scored the most times for Bolton Wanderers, as that would be at least 90% strikers/attackers so would not make a very balanced team. Instead I have gone through the statistics to create an attacking 4-4-2, which lines up as follows. This may in fairness be better termed as a 4-1-5!
While getting stuck into this article you might want to see how well you can do on my top scorers by position quiz. This article, and the follow up with the rest of the team, will not give you all the answers!
GK: Jim McDonagh - 1 goal
McDonagh is the only goalkeeper to have scored a goal, at the right end at least, while wearing a Bolton shirt. Unsurprisingly it was his only career goal.
He started out at Rotherham United and spent some time on loan at Manchester United while there. This alone must surely make his career unique as the only person to go on loan from that United to the other?
Following four years in Rotherham’s first team, he joined Bolton for the first of two two year spells. During this time he was part of a promotion winning team, as Wanderers returned to the top flight and a relegated side the next year. He personally remained in the top flight as Everton signed him.
He spent one season at Goodison Park as first choice before returning to Bolton for a second spell which would also end in relegation. It was during this 1982/83 relegation season that McDonagh grabbed his goal at Burnden Park.
I have found one account which claims that due to the wind he had a couple of close calls with misjudged kicks. The game was in the bag at 2-0 and the fans were egging him on for another go and he hit it, catching out Billy O’Rourke in the Burnley goal. This comment believes it was intentional, and he certainly did not miss a chance to celebrate.
McDonagh racked up 14 clubs upon leaving Bolton for a second time between 1983 and 1994. A notable name is Wichita Wings, which is apparently a real club, and there was a spell as player manager at Galway United.
His Ireland career started while a Bolton player and he went on to represent his country 25 times.
After hanging up his gloves he moved into coaching and has worked at a number of clubs and for the Republic of Ireland.
RB: Scott Green - 31 goals
Green started out with Derby County where he failed to make an appearance. He then spent a spell in Finland with Euran Pallo scoring more than a goal a game when being utilised as a striker.
Following this he moved to Bolton who he helped reach Division One in 1993. It was in 1994 when Green switched from being a striker to a right back, and he helped Bolton reach the Premier League and a League Cup final in 1995. He stayed with Bolton until 1997, at which point he moved to Wigan Athletic after achieving a third promotion with Wanderers.
While with our little neighbours he won the Football League Trophy and was a part of the side which won promotion to the Championship in 2003.
At this point he moved to Wrexham, also helping them to promotion. Following this he spent a year with Telford United who were dissolved in 2004. He then returned to Wrexham and won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Green moved into management and coaching upon retiring. He managed Ashton United, where he finished his playing career, for a year and is now manager of Finish side Pallo-Iirot.
CB: Paul Jones - 43 goals
Jones came through Bolton’s youth system, graduating to the first team in 1970. He would go on to play for Bolton for 13 years, after being signed by Nat Lofthouse.
Jones did have the misfortune of heavily assisting Sheffield United in scoring only 45 seconds into his debut for the club when his back pass didn’t make the distance. It could only be up from there I suppose, and it certainly was.
Jones is heralded by Bolton fans as one of the best players never to play for England. He did achieve a call up in 1977 despite Bolton being a second tier side, bit did not make the bench for England’s 1-0 over Luxembourg.
On leaving Bolton Jones moved to Huddersfield Town, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool, Rochdale and Stockport County raking up a further 181 appearances and 11 goals before his retirement in 1990.
After retiring Jones went into coaching, which included a spell in China. He would also go on to be a judge on a football talent show called Futbol Prensi.
He actually spoke to LOVS a few years back, and you can find his full interview here.
CB: Harry Goslin - 23 goals
I have written previously about the wartime Wanderers of which Goslin was at the centre. You can find my full article on this here, which focuses on Goslin’s journey. For this article, I will focus solely on his playing career.
Goslin played for Bolton for 9 years after joining the club in 1930, and Bolton were the only professional team he turned out for. Were it not for the war he would no doubt have added to his 300 odd appearances.
He started his career at Boots Athletic in Nottingham, which given the location quite likely does have connections to the Boots who started the pharmacist chain. He cost Wanderers a whole £25, which with inflation would be £1,646.39 in 2019.
He joined a team which was languishing in the lower half of the top flight following their third FA Cup victory in a decade. In 1933 the club slipped out of the top flight and Goslin played for two seasons in Division Two where Bolton finished third and then second. At around this time Goslin was handed the captain’s armband.
Bolton were able to reestablish themselves in the top flight in the following seasons and had managed to become a top half of the table side, before war broke out.
Goslin would play in a number of games during the war, some for Bolton, Chelsea and Norwich City as players tended to guest for other sides regularly during this time. He also played for England in an unofficial friendlies against Scotland and Wales, as well as playing for the British Army against a Polish Army team.
LB: Malcolm Barrass - 27 goals
Barrass started his career with Bolton in 1944. He would go on to represent Bolton on nearly 300 occasions.
Barress was a utility player who could play in midfield or defence. From what I have seen he played in central defence so being utilised so left back is a little out of position. He was though left footed so maybe it is not too much of a stretch. Possibly a cheeky inclusion as many of his goals were probably scored from attacking midfield.
He played in defence for Bolton notably during the 1953 FA Cup final where he was up against Stan Mortensen.
He achieved an England call up in 1951 as a centre forward and represented his country on two other occasions after this.
He left Bolton in 1956 moving to Sheffield United where he failed to nail down a first team place. He then moved to Wigan Athletic, who even then wanted nothing other than former Bolton players clearly. He was player-manager at Wigan, but only remained at the club for a few months.
The best option for someone who has played at left back was Henrik Pedersen, though I do not recall him scoring from that position! Pedersen netted 29 times for Bolton. Ricardo Gardner then scored 25 goals, while regularly playing left back.