Once again that time of year is upon us when our beloved Bolton Wanderers put us all through the mill. Be it at one end of the table or another, whichever it be, it’s never comfortable, as we all know it to be the Bolton way.
Like it or loathe it, this is what we all bought into or rather, inherited. Every single Bolton fan who has had to go through this mix of pain and jubilation over the years is a true football fan.
We’ve gone through emotions like no other supporter of any other club. But we don’t stop, do we? We love this club, that’s why. Many would die for it and when the club itself nearly died, we didn’t let it. We never will.
For the emotional wrecks that it has turned us all into, particularly over the last ten years, we’re all still here and its something I’m so proud of. The way this fanbase sticks together, it’s a cliche but it’s an extended family of mine and it’s about time we had that feel good factor back around the place.
Now I would never give to ask for reward, but I think we’ve earned it, haven’t we?
Saturday is an opportunity for those players to give back to everyone associated with the club, providing we give them the support we always have, in the biggest way possible.
It has the same feeling as the Peterborough game, the Port Vale game and the Forest games, albeit for varying fates, it’s another one of those massive occasions.
As one of the clubs with a record number of relegations, it’s little surprise to see us at the interesting end of a league table, despite what looked like it could be a fairly mediocre season, the lads turned it round.
We should’ve seen it coming really, it’s never boring being a Bolton fan, we all know that.
The team has appeared rejuvenated in the second half of the season and whilst the reasons for which largely remain unclear after such a shaky start, there’s no reason for us to question it anymore. We ought to just be thankful this season has eventually panned out how it has.
The biggest damp squib though comes in that we can’t physically be there to help carry the lads over the line this weekend. Imagine how amazing it would’ve been for this game to play out in front of a packed Reebok. For the team to see the stands packed to the rafters, to hear the immense noise and the delirium that their goals would cause.
That would normally be enough for any Bolton fan to give their left arm to be a part of, now in the current climate, I’m thinking they’d be willing to give up much more than just an arm. I know this set of supporters will do everything in their power to help get us promoted.
I can’t and won’t condone breaking the current guidelines. I know, we all know and the lads all know that they have our backing, no matter where. Be it outside the ground, at home, on the move, wherever it may be, they have our full unwavering support. That would never change, no matter how far away we are.
Its a shame though that the importance of this weekend’s fixtures has somewhat been overshadowed by the action which authorities have been forced to take which involves clubs partaking in a social media boycott, as a result of the unfortunate and unforgivable onslaught of unsolicited abuse directed at those in the sport.
Whilst we may not therefore be able to receive our usual, excellent match day content, minute by minute updates, post-match reaction, it’s small fry in context and will be for the right reasons.
Whilst the importance of the message is very much acknowledged and at the forefront of our minds, spirits will be high in the Wanderers camp. Social media therefore shouldn’t matter this weekend, providing we all have some means to follow the game, for occasions like this are to be lived in the moment.
Whilst it would be silly of me to think Exeter will be a walk in the park, we should enjoy this, I’m confident that we will and although we might not be able to gather in person should we go up, we’ll all be able to celebrate what the lads have achieved where we feel we’re able and most comfortable with showing our support.
The glaringly obvious lack of a celebratory feeling which has been so sorely missed over the last few years is well overdue. Hopefully when that final whistle blows, provided that the team can put the hard work required in again for one more 90 minutes that we know they have in them, that deserved feeling of fans, players and staff alike being repaid for their commitment to the cause will return.
So it all comes down to this. Judgement Day, again.
This is my plea to all hardened Whites fans who have kept the faith over the years to back the lads with everything you have and to the players to give everything they have for one more time this season, to get us on the road to where we belong.
With everything at stake and our future hanging in the balance, I once again pray for our beloved football club that Saturday will be a day to be remembered and not be one to forgotten. That fight, determination and passion consistently seen over the last three months can be replicated and given that we all keep our heads both on and off the pitch, it’ll be enough to secure promotion come 5pm.
As we have all season then, to those few fortunate enough to be at the game and the masses tuning in on the radio, at home, abroad, watching on iFollow streams and beyond, let’s get behind Evatt and the lads. Let’s get that win together and remind everyone that we’re Bolton Wanderers and we’re on our way back.