Three Ex-Wanderers Back BWFCST To Buy The Club
Three former Wanderers have backed the Supporters’ Trust-led bid to take over at Bolton.
Nathan Blake, Neil Whatmore and Henrik Pedersen offered their thoughts ahead of Wanderers’ bumper FA Cup fourth round clash against Leeds United at the Macron, pledging their support and urging others to do the same.
Nathan Blake, a former Welsh international and key player during the club’s bounce back season in 1996/97, likened the Supporters’ Trust’s potential takeover to his time at Newport County.
I’ve experienced this first hand at Newport and I’m here to tell you, it isn’t easy. Slowly but surely we have built the club up, from the kids playing at junior level to older fans playing walking football and now I can see signs of progress.
Newport hasn’t got the size or history of Bolton. It is a fantastic opportunity for the people there to make a difference but what I learned here is that you have to concentrate your efforts in the right areas, or otherwise it can be an uphill struggle.
You need to make sure that people know what you are doing and why you are doing it. You can’t rely 100 per cent on volunteers and you have to have the right structure, with enough people there to do the job.
I think people in Bolton are realistic and that they know it might get worse before it gets better. But if you take the pain, the reward feels better.
With no debts and a clean sheet it can be done. You just have to stick together.- Nathan Blake
Club legend Neil Whatmore, who represented Wanderers for a lengthy period in the 70’s and 80’s, wished the Supporters’ Trust all the best and spoke of his family’s love for the club.
What a fairytale it would be to see the club owned by fans.
My son, my daughter, my grandchildren all support Bolton Wanderers even though they’ve never lived there – but I have had the pleasure and my wife is from the town, so I know exactly what it means to the people who live and breathe the club.
It has always been a fans club. I know times have changed since I played for them and the Premier League has brought in money and foreign stars like you’d never believe. I don’t think Bolton has changed that much, though.
Wherever you come from, far and wide, players who come to Bolton start to think of the place as home. That is because they instantly get embraced as one of their own.
I try and explain to people down here in the Midlands what it’s like and I can’t. It is just the epitome of a family club, for me.
I am fully behind the Supporters’ Trust and their efforts to buy the club. I wish them all the very best.- Neil Whatmore
Henrik Pedersen, a name synonymous with arguably the club’s best spell in it’s entire history, spoke of his love for the town, the fans and everything Bolton Wanderers has done for him.
Bolton was a massive part of my football career and a massive part of my life. I made so many friends there, so when I read about what has happened at the club, of course I am very sad.
It is a similar place to Silkeborg; a little town outside the bigger cities where you walk outside and people want to talk to you about the football club. It is their life.
When I was living in Bolton I used to walk down the street and look at the people proudly wearing their Wanderers shirt.
I played at a time when the team was winning games and doing well. We had more than 20,000 fans at every game and it is easy to talk about how good things were. Now things are not so good and the club needs their fans more than ever.
To think that the fans could buy the club and take it forward makes me very proud. I wish them a lot of luck.- Henrik Pedersen
The Trust’s Steering Group would like to thank these individuals for their kind words.