45 YEARS AGO: THE headline announced that Wanderers had been drawn at home to West Brom in the third round of the FA Cup but, with the benefit of hindsight, the most significant story of the day was tucked away under the headline “Bolton sign starlet”.

The starlet in question was a certain Garry Jones – a 15-year-old Wythenshawe lad who had made name for himself playing for Manchester Schoolboys, attracting interest from both City and United.

The report included a picture of the latest recruit to the Burnden youth ranks but, not for the first time in those early days, his name was spelled wrong. However, newspapers up and down the land would soon become accustomed to referring to GARRY not GARY as that fresh-faced teenager became the golden boy of the Seventies.

Spelling apart, though, somebody knew what they were doing when they scouted young Jones and identified him as having “some promise”.

Bill Ridding’s Wanderers – relegated two seasons earlier – were desperately striving for the consistency they would need if they were to claw their way back into top-flight football.

A seven-match run without a win left them in mid-table but they showed what they were capable of when they beat an in-form Wolves 2-1 at Burnden in a titanic tussle, Freddie Hill and Wyn Davies getting the goals.

Hooliganism was starting to cause serious concerns for the football authorities with Manchester United’s reputation suffering more than most.

After eight “unruly fans” were banned from Old Trafford for the remainder of the season, United joined forces with Stretford Corporation to launch a “blitz” that involved the creation of a new by-law giving police extra powers to deal with trouble makers.

On the field, Matt Busby’s Red Devils beat the East German side ASK Vorwaerts 3-1 at Old Trafford to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory to reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup.

David Herd scored a hat-trick against the German Army team.

30 YEARS AGO: THINGS were starting to look up for Stan Anderson’s Wanderers.

They had struggled to come to terms with life in the Second Division but they showed character and class in equal measure to draw 2-2 with Luton in blizzard conditions at Kenilworth Road.

They looked good for victory after Neil Whatmore scored two second-half goals to put them 2-1 up but were denied maximum points when Brian Stein scrambled home an equaliser nine minutes from time.

Coming on the back of a 3-0 victory over Notts County, the result suggested Anderson had arrested the slide and got a momentum going.

And with injured midfield duo Peter Reid and Dusan Nikolic on the mend, Wanderers were starting to look up the table rather than down.

Blighty’s, the Farnworth night club, was the setting for Steve Davis – the young pretender to snooker’s biggest prize – to add another title to his fast-growing honours list.

Davis, the 23-year-old Londoner, crushed world champion Cliff Thorburn in the quarter-finals then beat Dennis Taylor in the final to pocket £5,000 for winning the Wilson’s £13,000 Classic four days after taking the Coral UK title.

Attempts by officials of the North American Soccer League to win fans across the Atlantic put them on collision course with FIFA, football’s world governing body.

The Americans were experimenting with a 35-yard “offside” line and three substitutes instead of two, prompting a threat of disciplinary action from FIFA president Joao Havelange.

20 YEARS AGO: PHIL Neal accepted the Barclays Division Three Manager of the Month award for November on behalf of “everyone at Bolton Wanderers”.

It was Neal’s third top boss award in 13 months and came on the back of five wins in as many games as Wanderers extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, forcing their way into the promotion reckoning while progressing in the FA Cup and Leyland DAF Cup.

It was further evidence of the upturn in form and fortune for the former Liverpool and England full-back who endured a rocky start to his managerial career as Wanderers were relegated to Division Four for the first time in their history.

Bury’s win at Wigan was all the more welcome for having come at the end of a horrendous week at Gigg Lane where the entire playing staff had been transfer-listed.

The Shakers major shareholder, Hugh Eaves, had dropped a bombshell by admitting he could no longer continue funding the club’s ever-increasing losses.

He was heartened by the performance at Springfield Park, however after seeing goals from David Lee and Tony Cunningham give manager Sam Ellis a welcome boost.