10 Years Ago THE lingering feud between Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers took a bizarre twist when Sam Allardyce’s Whites took their grievance to a new level with a dirty protest at Prenton Park.

Still smarting after what he regarded as the unsporting antics of Rovers boss John Aldridge and his players during the Worthington Cup semi-final in January, Allardyce took the unusual step of snubbing Tranmere’s facilities before and after the Bank Holiday fixture.

They arrived at Prenton Park just 35 minutes before kick-off, already changed and ready for the pre-match warm-up.

But the biggest surprise came after the game, which Wanderers won 1-0 – courtesy of a superb 53rd-minute goal from Mike Whitlow – when they left the ground without showering.

Allardyce explained: “We just came back to the Reebok to get showered and changed.

“We didn’t want to spend too long there. I suppose we put ourselves on the line again by arriving late. . . but I really wanted the players to be up for this one because I knew it would be our biggest test of the season – not from a football point of view but from the mental aspect.

“It was all about getting the players motivated and not about winding Tranmere up. We went there to do a job and we did it.”

It was Wanderers second win of the Bank Holiday weekend, coming two days after a 2-0 home win against Preston with goals from Isaiah Rankin and Michael Ricketts.

Andy Preece’s Bury went joint top of Division Two when Darren Bullock scored the only goal of the home win against Northampton.

Leigh RMI made a flying start to the Nationwide Conference season winning their third game in a week – 2-0 at home to Scarborough – to go third in the table, just three points behind leaders Dagenham and Redbridge.

Bolton badminton ace Chris Hunt was battling to beat a recurring shoulder injury to continue his quest for gold at the Olympics.

The injury forced Hunt – a Commonwealth Games triple medallist and at 31 the oldest player in the national squad – to pull out of the Malaysian Open. But he was confident of being fit for the Sydney Games – his third and last Olympics as a competitor.

“I should be back to full fitness shortly,” he said.

15 Years Ago ALAN Stubbs headed the goal that gave Wanderers their first ever Premier League win – a well-deserved 2-1 victory over the Champions Blackburn Rovers at Burnden Park that had the champagne corks popping in the home dressing room.

But the young Bolton captain wasn’t smiling at the end after being booed by large sections of the home contingent in the crowd of 20,500.

Bitterly disappointed by the reaction of fans who took exception to his public pronouncements that he wanted to leave Wanderers for a “top club”, Stubbs reckoned the criticism was starting to affect his performances and claimed he deserved better after serving the club for eight years.

Yet he didn’t do himself any favours when, after asked in a TV interview after the game if his Bolton days were numbered, he responded with a wry smile: “Watch this space!”.

Toasting the historic win - set up by Fabian de Freitas who opened the scoring after 21 minutes and featuring an outstanding performance by Gudni Bergsson whose ice-cool display at the heart of the defence froze out the threat from Alan Shearer – joint manager Colin Todd boasted: “We’ll surprise a lot of people.”

Elsewhere, Andrei Kanchelskis moved from Manchester United to Everton in a £5million transfer and Australia’s cricket captain Alan Border revealed he was considering quitting the game, citing lack of motivation.

40 Years Ago WANDERERS’ appeal to supporters and businessmen to invest much-needed finance into the club looked like falling well short of its target.

The Burnden Park board, desperate to ease the club’s financial pressures and provide cash for ground improvements and “an assault on the First Division”, launched a special share and loan notes issue in the hope of raising £170,000. And although the applications rolled in on a daily basis, keeping the accountants busy, the cash pledges were not as big as they had hoped – less than £40,000 of which the directors themselves had accounted for £14,000.

A club spokesman said: “We are very disappointed. This was a chance for supporters to have a say in the running of the club.”

There were on-field problems too with manager Nat Lofthouse, who was reeling from a 4-0 hammering at Portsmouth, now facing a goalkeeping crisis.

With first-choice Alan Boswell already sidelined, things went from bad to worse when reserves Peter Clarke and Barry Siddall joined the casualty list, leaving 17-year-old John Bell, who had played a number of games for the A and B teams, the only fit goalkeeper on the books.

So desperate was the situation that Bell, from Lymm in Cheshire, had to sign Central League forms in a rush so that he could play for Wanderers Reserves at Huddersfield – otherwise an outfield player would have had to play in goal.

There was some good news with John Byrom asking to be taken off the transfer list.

The popular striker asked for a move after refusing to sign a new contract and although Wanderers were understood not to have budged on their original offer, Byrom decided to sign, leaving full-back Syd Farrimond the only player not to have put pen to paper.