WHAT have Youri Djorkaeff, Roger Hunt, Vincent Candela and Jimmy Armfield got in common? Answer – they are the four former Wanderers who have in their possession a World Cup winner’s medal.
Wanderers history books are filled with players who have graced the tournament – from the first, Nat Lofthouse in 1954, to the most recent, Chung-Yong Lee, who is getting ready for action once again in Brazil next Tuesday.
Just for fun, we decided to put together what we thought was the best Bolton World Cup team.
But we would also like to hear your thoughts, either through Twitter on @MarcIles or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANDERERS WORLD CUP XI
GOALKEEPER – Peter Shilton
A controversial choice, perhaps, but while record appearance-maker Eddie Hopkinson was part of England’s squad at the 1958 tournament, he never actually usurped Burnley’s Colin McDonald for the number one spot.
Shilton – whose Bolton career spanned just two games – played in 17 World Cup matches for England between 1982 and 1990, including one quarter-final and one semi-final.
Phil Neal Edges out World Cup winner Vincent Candela by virtue of the fact he was a real right-back, the former Wanderers player-manager played 85 games at Burnden Park.
Neal won 50 caps for England and represented his country against Kuwait and France at the 1982 finals.
Fernando Hierro Hierro’s brief stay at Bolton, which lasted 29 games, came at the end of a glittering club career with Real Madrid, which had seen him lift the Champions League three times and win five La Liga titles.
The legendary defender had not seen the same success at international level, however, despite playing 13 times at the World Cup between 1994 and 2002, he never progressed beyond the quarter-finals.
Mark Fish Snapped up from Lazio shortly before France 98, the South Africa international became a popular figure at the Reebok, playing more than a century of games for the club.
Fish lost only one of his three games at the World Cup, drawing against Saudi Arabia and Denmark before defeat against the hosts confirmed the Bafana Bafana’s exit from the tournament.
Tommy Banks There won’t have been many tougher customers to have turned out on the grandest stage, as Wanderers legend Banks did for England in Sweden, 1958.
The rugged full-back played four games for Walter Winterbottom’s side, including the unlucky play-off defeat against the Soviet Union.
Jason McAteer McAteer ended a 36-year wait for an active Wanderer to play at the World Cup when he turned out for Ireland against Italy in New York in 1994. For that reason alone he edges out Chung-Yong Lee for the right midfield spot.
McAteer – famously plucked from Marine Reserves by Phil Neal in 1992 - played six games at the World Cup, returning with Mick McCarthy’s side in 2002 in Japan and Korea.
Jay-Jay Okocha One of the most gifted midfielders to have worn a Wanderers shirt, playing 145 games in four years at the Reebok.
The Nigerian magician got to the last 16 with the Super Eagles in 1994 and 1998, only to see the Super Eagles crash out to European opposition in Italy and Denmark, respectively. The last of his nine World Cup games came against England, as Nigeria failed to get past the group stages in 2002.
Per Frandsen Frandsen topped 300 appearances for Wanderers in two spells and gets picked ahead of countryman Stig Tofting – who played three times as many games in the competition – because he adds a classier touch in midfield.
The Great Dane played only twice at the World Cup finals of 1998, against Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Ricardo Gardner Had Gardner not travelled to France 98 with Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, he might not have popped up on Colin Todd’s radar.
The flamboyant utility man could have filled a few spots in this team but it was as a flying winger that he was first spotted playing for Jamaica against Japan, Argentina and Croatia.
Youri Djorkaeff The majestic Frenchman had already lifted the World Cup in 1998 when he arrived at Wanderers looking for a boost ahead of the 2002 tournament – and he found it.
Djorkaeff played nine times in two competitions, but his last stint saw the holders crash out in the group stages in Japan and Korea after defeats to Senegal – containing a future Wanderer in El-Hadji Diouf – and Denmark.
Roger Hunt Hunt’s Bolton career was solid, if unspectacular, but there is no doubting the quality of his record at the World Cup: Played one, won one. And that puts him ahead of even the great Nat Lofthouse, who played for England in 1954.
Hunt, pictured below, scored 25 times in 84 appearances for the Whites between 1969 and 1972 but three years before his arrival at Burnden Park he had lifted the trophy for Sir Alf Ramsey’s side. Hunt scored three times for England in the group stages of 1966, once against Mexico and twice against France, and played in the final against West Germany.
Jimmy Armfield Spent four years as manager at Wanderers, leading a young side out of the Third Division in 1973 before moving on to Leeds United.
Armfield was acclaimed as the best right-back in the world after his displays at the 1962 World Cup in Chile and was selected four years later as England hosted the tournament. Injury meant he took no part in Sir Alf Ramsey’s triumph, meaning he got no winner’s medal – but a campaign from the Football Association five years ago saw Armfield finally get his prize.