THE date is January 1, 2017, and here’s a look back at what has been an eventful 12 months of sport in 2016.

Of course the year was dominated by the rise of Bolton Wanderers following their dismal plight at the end of 2015 which threatened their very existence.

The acquisition of the club by the prince of an oil-rich Middle East country was welcome news, as was the paying off of the club’s debt and huge investment in the top players presently gracing the Macron Stadium in front of capacity crowds.

Promotion back to the Premier League in May was something few people envisaged this time last year. It is hoped the lessons learned from all the amassing of debt over the previous 15 years has been learned at Wanderers.

It was also refreshing to see some other changes in football.

The reduction in ticket prices to reflect the average wage and the maximum price of £20 for away tickets have been well received while, on the field, Arsenal showed uncharacteristic strength of will and desire to last the pace and win the Premier League title. We shall look forward to those mouthwatering clashes between the Gunners and Wanderers next season.

What will Alan Shearer have to say about those games on Match of the Day will be interesting, and it will be all the more pleasant hearing it now he has finally stopped playing fast and loose with his tenses.

No more “he’s went in at the far post”.

Jurgen Klopp is settled into life in the Premier League and stopped answering the most inane of questions with manic laughter and rampant head movements.

It was the year when Mark Hughes, Tony Pulis and Roberto Martinez said something interesting and when footballers stopped talking behind their hands when the TV cameras focused on them, finally realising that whatever it was they had to say wasn’t of the slightest interest to anyone anyway.

They also stopped using the phrase “in and around us” when talking about teams close to them in the table. Was never quite sure what “in us” meant!

Referees bowed to longstanding pressure and clamped down on wrestling in the penalty area from corners that had gone unpunished for years.

It only took a couple of penalties to be awarded and the players stopped doing it at a stroke. Who’d have thought it would have been that easy?

Away from football it was refreshing to see Mo Farah favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year and finally get the credit from the general public he deserves for continuing to break the African dominance in the 5,000m and 10,000m.

The Olympics were a great success in Rio and gave rise to interest in an array of sports which usually don’t make it into the public psyche or onto the back pages of the newspapers.

The difference this time is that the unexpected interested in archery appear to have stuck.

The Olympics also appears to have caught the imagination of children, who have packed away their computer games and hand-held i-thingies and have gone outdoors and got a sweat on.

The result is the child obesity problem looks to be a thing of the past, thanks to the power of sport.

So, all in all it’s been a great year for sport. In your dreams.