BOLTON Wanderers have honoured two former players who lost their lives in the First World War.

The club planted two rowan trees close to the statue of Nat Lofthouse at the front of the stadium in memory of William Wallace and Harold Greenhalgh, who never returned from battle.

The Football Remembers campaign, run in partnership with the National Trust and National Football Museum, has asked all league clubs to leave a lasting tribute to their fallen players as game prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the war’s end.

Wanderers captain David Wheater joined Bolton Mayor, Cllr Elaine Sherrington and other dignitaries at the tree planting on Wednesday afternoon outside the University of Bolton Stadium.

Another 10 Bolton players also served in the war, some of whom went on to make the backbone of the famous 1923 team which lifted the FA Cup at Wembley.

Wanderers will be observing a minute’s silence before kick-off against Swansea City on Saturday afternoon. Players will wear shirts with a poppy which will be auctioned off to raise money for the British Legion. A special coin has also been produced for the referee to flip for the toss at the start of the match, which will also be sold to raise funds.

“Every year there is a very respectful atmosphere before kick-off,” reflected Wheater.

“I’m sure it will be again. Everyone has family who served in the war and it’s great to see the club honouring the people who gave up their lives.”

Ten silhouettes figures will be placed in seats across the South Stand Lower for the game against Swansea as part of a project entitled, “There But Not There,” which honours both soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during the war.

Military personnel, past and present, will be present for the game, as will representatives of families who have been lost in recent conflicts.

“It is always a special day,” said club chaplain Phil Mason. “To think we’re a century on from that conflict which was supposed to be the war to end all wars. It’s important we remember those people who sacrificed so much to give us the freedom we enjoy today. Here at Bolton Wanderers the impact of the First World War had an impact on the way we approached the Second World War. Harry Goslin was influenced by those who had played their part and become the Lancashire Pals, and he was the one who stood and told people he was going to take his team down to be part of the Royal Bolton Artillery. They all served together – Wanderers at War is a famous story – and sadly, Harry was the only one who did not come back.”

Mayor, Cllr Sherrington, will be present at a number of ceremonies over the next few days as the town remembers those who fought.

“It’s wonderful how people across the town have got involved, from schoolchildren to older people who may remember the effects war had on life in Bolton,” she said.

“Mothers lost sons, sisters lost brothers, and we had women who lost the opportunity of having a family. Only one in 10 got married.

“Husbands and fiancées never came back and some were not in a physical or mental situation to continue as they had before.

“The whole thing was a huge upheaval on how people lived and we should not forget that, because it must never happen again. We want to live in peace.”