BOLTON is a football town through and through.

The Wanderers are woven into the fabric of the community, with strong local support and that is the way it should be.

We should back our local club and wish them nothing but the best on and off the pitch.

A successful football club is an important element of the any town or city.

But just over three years from now, the UK will be gripped by Rugby League fever.

And it is good to see that BWFC, along with the council and the University of Bolton, have come together to back Bolton’s bid to host the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

Whether Rugby League, or sport in general, is your thing or not, Bolton winning the bid to host the tournament would undoubtedly provide the region with a significant economic boost and give our town huge exposure as a destination on the global stage.

The RL World Cup is due to be the biggest in the tournament’s history, will include men’s women’s and wheelchair events and be held exclusively in England.

Bolton is included in the whittled down shortlist of 20 towns and cities who are vying to host the event, which will be televised live on the BBC to countries all over the world in October and November 2021.

Wigan – a town steeped in Rugby League – is one of the potential host towns we are competing with, but the Bolton bid team is hoping that organisers will see the attraction of holding the World Cup here. Bringing a new audience to the sport is an important element.

Moreover, the government is investing £25m in the event, the most amount of money it has put into a sporting event since the 2012 Olympics. It will mean a positive impact on the local community in terms of new and improved sporting facilities.

The successful bidder will be announced in January.

Bolton may not be a rugby town, but if we do get the RL World Cup, it will surely introduce the sport to thousands, which is clearly what the powers-that-be are aiming for.

Rugby League is certainly an exciting sport to watch; it is fast, skilful and tough.

And the respect shown to officials is a joy to see for those used to watching the petulant antics of some footballers.

In Rugby League, you don’t see the players surrounding the referee and screaming in his face.

If you show dissent to the ref you are given a yellow card, but also sent to the ‘sin bin’ to cool off for 10 minutes.

Imagine if that policy was adopted in football.

For much of a match – certainly going by the evidence of the disgraceful behaviour by many teams in the summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia – it would be two against two, with the rest of the players in the sin bin.

As the BBC’s Rugby League correspondent Dave Woods said when he presented to business people from across Bolton last week, football is a game in which the players spend 90 minutes pretending to be injured and Rugby League is a game where the players spend 80 minutes pretending they aren’t.