PHIL Brown had done everything he could to make a case to be the next manager of Bolton Wanderers.

Ricardo Gardner’s goal was enough to give the former Burnden Park defender his third win in four games as caretaker boss, following the resignation of Colin Todd in September 1999.

Nottingham Forest and Swindon Town had also been vanquished in a spell that saw the Whites rise from 16th position in Division One to ninth.

But alas, Brown didn’t prove to be the man to lead the club forward. By the time of the Whites’ next match at Crewe Alexandra, Sam Allardyce was watching from the stands ready to start a glorious run towards the Premier League and Europe.

The win at Huddersfield was also poignant in that it was the last appearance of one of Wanderers’ most revered goalkeepers, Keith Branagan.

The man who had made perhaps the most important save in the club’s history, a penalty against Reading in the play-off final some four-and-a-half years earlier, was stretchered off the field at the Galpham Stadium with a knee injury.

Jussi Jaaskelainen took over the gloves and remained in goal for all-but two more games that season, when he was replaced by Steve Banks.

Branagan moved on to Ipswich Town before hanging up his boots because of persistent knee problems.