IT has been a decade since Wanderers last had a player at a major summer international tournament – but we are not going to let that ruin the Euros!

Not since Chung-Yong Lee pulled on a South Korea shirt in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have Bolton fans been able to cheer on one of their own, and you’d have to go back six years further to support a Wanderer at the Euros, with Stelios Giannakopoulos their last representative in 2008.

If, like us, you are keen to make every game about Bolton Wanderers, then we might have just the thing for you.

With the pre-season friendlies still a few weeks away, we decided to give you a BWFC-themed reason to take an interest in each and every team in action in Germany.

It’s just for fun folks, and we have tried to make the facts and links as relevant as humanly possible, so they can be dropped in effortlessly into conversation over 90 minutes.

Fredi Bobic in his Bolton Wanderers days, complete with baggy shirtFredi Bobic in his Bolton Wanderers days, complete with baggy shirt (Image: PA)


We’ll start with the last non-UK player to score a competitive hat-trick for Bolton, and that’s Fredi Bobic (v Ipswich Town in April 2002).

Didi Hamann just about counts as a Wanderer, having been registered for the club for about 24 hours before deciding he didn’t like the accent and heading to, erm, Manchester City.

Jan Kirchhoff was another case of blink-and-you’ll-miss-him, and almost certainly the only Bolton player to have a double ‘H’ in his surname.


We are not short of Super Scots to pick from in Bolton history but we’ll have to go for one of the most prolific strike partnerships in the club’s history, John McGinlay and Andy Walker.

Want more? How about a trivia question: Who were the only two Scottish clubs that Bolton faced in four seasons of the Anglo Scottish Cup between 1976/77 and 1979/80?

The answer is Patrick Thistle and St Mirren.

Or how about the last Wanderers player to be officially capped by Scotland?

The answer is Allan Johnston (May 30, 2000 v Ireland).


Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan was a full Hungary international in Bolton colours, receiving his first call-up in 2008 and earning a first cap in 2011 against Luxembourg.

Digging a little deeper, did you know that a former Wanderers player had a profound effect on early Hungarian football? Renowned coach and innovator Jimmy Hogan played for the Whites for five seasons and was instrumental in the tactical development of the game around the continent. In Hungary, he is best known for winning five league titles with MTK.


Would it be too cheeky to claim the Swiss-based consortium who have invested in Bolton for the last three years?

If not, then maybe the fact that Nat Lofthouse became the first Bolton player to feature in a major international tournament when he played three games for England in the 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland. He scored twice against Belgium and one against holders Uruguay.

Ivan Campo with El Hadji Diouf: Could they 'be' wearing any more clothes?Ivan Campo with El Hadji Diouf: Could they 'be' wearing any more clothes? (Image: PA)


From Ivan Campo to Fernando Hierro, Marcos Alonso to Derik Osede, Wanderers have had plenty of Spanish links down the years, but not too many to the modern-day squad.

Goalkeeper David Raya is the only player who has faced Bolton, back in his Blackburn Rovers days, but Spanish coach Luis de la Fuente was at Sevilla the same season that Sam Allardyce’s side claimed a 1-1 draw against them in the UEFA Cup in 2005, Bruno N’Gotty’s goal giving them safe passage to the last 32.


A bona fide trailblazer, Ivan Klasnic became the first player to feature and score at a major international tournament after a transplant when he was selected at Euro 2008.

He netted against Poland in the groups, then against Turkey in the quarter final, and signed on loan for Bolton from Nantes shortly afterwards.


Bolton don’t have a great record with Italian players, being honest. Enzo Gambaro, Emanuele Morini, Francesco Pisano and Gaetano Giallanza hardly trip off the tongue as club legends.

Perhaps the most influential Italians at Bolton have been the good folk at Macron, who have both sponsored the stadium and manufactured the club’s kit for several years. Grazi!

Blerim Dzemaili - who has Albanian roots and played once for Bolton WanderersBlerim Dzemaili - who has Albanian roots and played once for Bolton Wanderers (Image: PA)


A sharp intake of breath before researching this one… But I think we’ve managed it.

Ex-Wanderer Blerim Dzemaili might have played for Switzerland at the World Cup and the Euros but he was born in Albania.

Three members of the coaching staff – Sylvinho, Pablo Zabaleta (both Manchester City) and Doriva (Middlesbrough) have played against Bolton in the Premier League. The latter even turned out in ‘that’ Carling Cup final in 2004.


We had forgotten all about Matija Boben, who was signed by Neil Lennon on an extended trial in 2015 and played in the development squad. But he ended up playing internationally for Slovenia and still plays at a good level in Romania. Oddly enough, that’s also where the former Bolton boss has ended up. Small world.

Eoin Toal also made his Northern Ireland debut against Slovenia. So there.


Per Frandsen, Michael Johansen, Claus Jensen, Stig Tofting – Bolton had a great knack of recruiting from Denmark at one stage.

Indeed, two of Wanderers best-known managers, Bruce Rioch and Colin Todd, had spells in club football in that neck of the woods, too.

Carsten Fredgaard managed a rare thing, which was to be Danish and NOT make an impact at Bolton. Perhaps the writing was on the wall, however, when you consider his nickname at his parent club Sunderland was “Chocolate Fireguard”.


Only one man for the job here, and it’s Sasa Curcic. The man from Belgrade was the epitome of a luxury player but the fans at Burnden Park loved him and kicked up a stink when Colin Todd decided to sell him at the start of the 1996/97 season.

His move to Aston Villa for £4m was later included in a Times list of the 50 Worst Premier League transfers of all time.


Most of us won’t need an excuse to cheer on England but Bolton can claim to have nurtured the talents of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, at least until Dougie Freedman released him for being “too short”. Oops.

Half the squad have faced Wanderers at one time or another in the EFL including Harry Kane (Millwall), Jordan Pickford (Preston), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Ezri Konsa (Charlton), Kieran Trippier (Burnley) and Ollie Watkins (Brentford). Kyle Walker has even played against them in the Premier League for Tottenham and Aston Villa.


Richard Sneekes had a rocket of a right foot and Fabian de Freitas will be forever remembered for his goals in the play-off final against Reading.

But if you go way back, a former Bolton player called Bob Glendenning helped to form early Dutch football, taking charge of the national team for more than 15 years.

He is buried in St Peter’s Church in Halliwell with a memorial from the KNVB.

France striker Kingsley Coman - a boyhood Bolton Wanderers fanFrance striker Kingsley Coman - a boyhood Bolton Wanderers fan (Image: PA)


Bolton is twinned with Le Mans in France and Kingsley Coman once revealed he was a Bolton Wanderers fan as a kid.

We have no shortage of quality Frenchman to pick from in the former player stakes – Youri Djorkaeff, Nicolas Anelka, Bruno N’Gotty, Franck Passi, Vincent Candela. In fact, there are 21 French players who have featured for Bolton down the years. No, we are not going to list them all.


Nat Lofthouse got his famous nickname in an England international against Austria - the press dubbing him the 'Lion of Vienna' after his fearless performance in a 3-2 win.

Wanderers' last proper pre-season tour was in Austria too. They played a friendly against Paderborn and conceded a goal that was eventually nominated for a Puskas award. Read more here.


Veteran keeper Wojciech Szczesny isn’t just a name we dread having to type in a live match report, he was almost a Bolton Wanderers player at one stage too.

Fred Barber brought him to the club in 2007, recommending him to Sam Allardyce as a good long-term investment. Unfortunately, Big Sam opted against the deal.


‘Ypa!’ to our friends in the Bolton Ukrainian Club.

Manager Sergiy Rebrov played against Wanderers three times in his playing career and in 2002 he came close to signing for Sam Allardyce, only for a work permit to let him down at the last possible minute.

The former striker was on loan at Fenerbahce when Bolton made their move.

“He would have been an excellent signing,” Big Sam reflected.


Wanderers have had three Slovakian players on their books – the first being big defender Lubomir Michalik, who made a handful of appearances in 2007/08 and is still playing semi-professionally at the age of 40 in his home country. Vladimiar Weiss played on loan from Manchester City in 2010/11 and is now playing for Slovan Bratislava but did not make the Euro squad The other is striker Zoltan Harsanyi, who never played a first team game for Wanderers.

Dedryck Boyata didn't cover himself in glory during his stay at WanderersDedryck Boyata didn't cover himself in glory during his stay at Wanderers (Image: PA)


Belgians have been surprisingly thin on the ground at Bolton down the years – Thibaud Verlinden had a productive couple of months on loan under Keith Hill a few years back, Steve de Ridder had a brief spell on loan from Southampton, and Dedryck Boyata was bang average in the final Premier League season after coming in from Manchester City.

Jimmy ‘The Belgian Wanderer’ De Roy is a well known supporter who regularly travels over the water to watch the Whites.


Dennis Politic is the only Romanian to play for Wanderers but perhaps the finest of his countrymen did play at Burnden Park.

Gheorge Hagi graced Wanderers with an appearance for Brescia in the 1993/94 Anglo Italian Cup. Unfortunately, only 3,021 people got to see him feature in a thrilling 3-3 draw.


Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut in English football against Wanderers, just ask Nicky Hunt.

Bolton will be doing their pre-season fitness camp on the Algarve once again this season, which means another homecoming for their Portugal-born captain, Ricardo Almeida Santos.

Karel Poborsky - came up against Bolton Wanderers in 1997Karel Poborsky - came up against Bolton Wanderers in 1997 (Image: PA)


An incredible 1,278 days passed between the cash signing of Celtic’s Czech midfielder Filip Twardzik in February 2015 and the next transfer fee paid by Wanderers for Josh Magennis to Charlton in July 2018.

The Czech Republic FA’s director of youth is Karel Poborsky, who scored a famous goal in Euro 96 past his soon-to-be team-mate Peter Schmeichel, of Denmark. He also played against Bolton the following season but lasted just 55 minutes in a 0-0 draw at the Reebok before being subbed for Paul Scholes.


Wanderers have never had a Georgian player on the books… But they almost did!

Manchester City cult hero Georgi Kinkladze came on loan to Bolton in March 2004 and very nearly did enough to convince Sam Allardyce that he deserved a contract.

Kinkladze played for the reserves and trained with the first team but Allardyce felt he was too similar to one of his other superstars.

"The way he plays and the way Jay-Jay plays are too similar," he said. "I would not think I could put them both in the same team because of the similarities. But I think he can do somebody a job."


Wanderers has never been a happy hunting ground for Turkish players, even the good ones.

Bulent Akin’s career lasted one game – and a red card against Bury – along with a training ground scrap with Bernard Mendy which even spilled into the manager’s office.

Tuncay Sanli arrived with a big reputation on loan from Middlesbrough but did precious little as Wanderers were relegated to the Championship in 2012.

And poor Erhun Oztumer looked a gem of a signing when Phil Parkinson brought him in from Walsall in 2017 – but hardly got a look in.

Have we missed out any links? And have you spotted any whilst the Euros have been going on? Tweet me @MarcIles or email