Hundreds of fans gather at the Reebok for Nat Lofthouse statue unveiling
12:21pm Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of eager fans gathered at the Reebok stadium for the long-awaited unveiling of the Nat Lofthouse statue.
The mighty bronze sculpture of one Wanderer's greatest legends was finally revealed during a moving ceremony this morning.
Bolton Wanderers club chaplain Phil Mason was first to give his thoughts on the finished sculpture.
Mr Mason told fans: "The statistics really say everything we need to know about Nat: 503 appearances and 285 goals for this club and of course, for England his 33 appearances and 30 goals.
"He was the Lion of Vienna and his last words: 'I've got the ball now, it's a bit worn but I've got it ' are enshrined around this statue. This will now be a sacred place for the club."
Whites chairman Phil Gartside and sculpture Sean hedges-Quinn also gave speeches before Whites owner Eddie Davies unveiled the statue.
Nat's son Jeff gave the crowd the final word on the statue's likeness to his father.
Fans quickly flocked to get a close up of the finished piece.
The campaign to build the statue was launched in January last year and more than £35,000 has been raised by Whites fans.
The rest was raised from corporate sponsorship.
The £100,000 statue is based on a photograph of Nat carrying a ball onto the pitch.
The ceremony was timed to coincide with what would have been Nat’s 88th birthday on Tuesday.