Former Bolton Wanderers striker Henrik Pedersen still going strong
HENRIK Pedersen is still “doing the peacock” seven years after scoring his last goal for Wanderers.
Owner of perhaps the most famous goal celebration by anyone in a Whites shirt, the 39-year-old has recent laced up his boots once again in the sixth tier of the Danish leagues.
It might be a far cry from his glory days at the Reebok under Sam Allardyce, where the Great Dane helped establish the club in the top flight before embarking on their first-ever journey into European competition.
But the popular front man is enjoying life back in his home town of Silkeborg in the east of Denmark, where he also runs a football-themed bar.
“Thankfully I have got a manager who plays me up front and not at left-back,” he joked – eluding to his last days at Bolton under Allardyce where his renowned workrate was harnessed in the back four because of injuries elsewhere in the squad.
“It is only a bit of fun with friends really a bit like Sunday League. But we actually started in the lowest division in the Danish system, Serie Six.
“We got promoted in May so we have now stepped up a level. I’m still scoring a few goals and doing the Peacock and having fun.”
Pedersen’s last goal for Wanderers came in a 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic. In total he hit the target 29 times for the club over the course of six seasons.
After leaving Bolton to return to Denmark he then briefly came back to England, helping Phil Brown’s Hull City to promotion in 2008.
A family holiday to Spain means Pedersen will miss Wanderers’ pre-season friendlies in Scandinavia, which kick-off tonight against Brondby.
But the former Denmark international believes his former club will get a thorough workout against three teams who are close to starting their competitive season.
Brondby face Liverpool shortly after Wanderers in their final friendly and have a squad roughly on par with the Whites in terms of depth and quality.
“I would imagine it will be a very hard game for Bolton,” he said.
“I think that some clubs in the Danish League would do well in the Championship, like Brondby, but maybe only FC Copenhagen would be able to compete at the Premier League level.
“They started their pre-season training on June 11 and they will begin qualification for the Champions League soon.
“The season also starts on July 18, so these will be their final warm-up games.
“They have recently come into some money which means they went from being a club who were happy to be in the top four to one who are now looking to win the title every year and get into the Champions League.”
Pedersen won’t be reading much into the results on Wanderers’ Scandinavian trip but hopes Dougie Freedman’s side can stay injury free before they fly back to England in a week.
“I think managers don’t care about the results especially in the first three or four games. It is just trying to get some fitness into your legs and try and few different things on the pitch. More importantly, you don’t want any injuries.
“Both the Danish teams will be somewhere near 100 per cent sharp but I don’t think that will be the case for Bolton. They will still trying to find their way a bit.
“But going back to when I played at Bolton under Big Sam, one year I remember us not winning a single game in pre-season and yet we ended up finishing sixth. It doesn’t really matter.”
Even though he won’t be there to welcome them, Pedersen has already had some interest from Wanderers fans making the trip to Denmark to see if they can visit him at his bar, named “Målet” which translates to “The Goal.”
“A few fans have contacted me on Facebook,” he said. “It is quite a long drive, about three hours, from Copenhagen. You can fly into a nearer airport from Manchester and that is only 40 minutes away.
“I have seen a few Bolton fans here, including the chairman of the Norwegian Supporters Club not so long ago. He was on holiday.
“I still keep in touch with a few people over there and still like to visit. Bolton still feels like a second home.”