RECOGNISED as a firm favourite by Bolton fans, Freddie Hill celebrates his 80th birthday today.  

His skill, talent and goal-scoring ability wowed supporters back in the fifties and sixties, but there is something else worth remembering him for.

German Fredi Bobic was the last to do it in the top-flight back in 2004 and, most recently, Josh Magennis took home the match ball in an FA Cup third round victory over Walsall.

But on March 9 1963, Hill netted all three goals for Wanderers at Burnden Park in a 3-2 victory against Sheffield United, which remains to this day the last hat-trick to be scored in the top-flight by an Englishman for Bolton.

Despite strong interest from Sheffield Wednesday, the Yorkshireman signed for Wanderers in 1957 and made his Division One debut the following year, in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United.

The start of his career with Wanderers overlapped the end of the career of club legend Nat Lofthouse, and after just three seasons in the Football League, Hill was selected in the England U23s where he scored six times in 10 appearances.

In October 1962, at the age of 22, he won his first full cap for England in a 3-1 win in Belfast against Northern Ireland.

And the following month at Wembley, England defeated Wales 4-0 in what was to be Hill’s last appearance for the Three Lions.

In an interview in 2010, he explained why the appointment of Alf Ramsey led to his international career being cut short after those two games.

“His idea was that he didn’t want anybody to try and beat a man,” he said in an interview back in 2010. “Well, that was my game.

“He just wanted us to pass it, one or two touch, but I couldn’t do that.”

Hill remembers his time at Bolton fondly but admitted he was disappointed to miss out on the chance to play under Bill Shankly at Liverpool because of a failed medical due to high blood pressure.

“I loved my time at Bolton, it was brilliant,” he explained. “But Liverpool might well have been better because they were better players.

“After I failed it, someone came up to me and said I might not play again. The next day I took the tests and I was perfectly fit, but we’d missed the transfer deadline.

“Shankly was dead keen – he said a partnership with Peter Thompson would have been marvellous.”

After scoring 79 goals in more than 400 appearances, Hill finished his career with the Whites and moved to Halifax Town in 1969 for a fee of £5,000, going on to have spells with Manchester City and Peterborough United.

Wanderers fans will be hoping of a return to top-flight football sometime in the future and maybe, just maybe, the 57-year record will be broken and Bolton will have a new hat-trick hero.