All-Time Premier League Record
|Played||Won||Drew||Lost||Scored||Conceded||Goal Difference||Points||No of Seasons|
Most Premier League Appearances
Most Premier League Goals
Biggest Premier League Victories
|Leicester City 0-5 Bolton Wanderers||18th August 2001||2001-2002|
|Bolton Wanderers 5-0 Stoke City||6th November 2011||2011-2012|
|Bolton Wanderers 5-1 Newcastle United||20th November 2010||2010-2011|
|Everton 0-4 Bolton Wanderers||17th December 2005||2005-2006|
|Bolton Wanderers 4-0 West Ham United||9th December 2006||2006-2007|
|Bolton Wanderers 4-0 Wigan Athletic||13th March 2010||2009-2010|
|Queens Park Rangers 0-4 Bolton Wanderers||13th August 2011||2011-2012|
|Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Crystal Palace||2nd May 1998||1997-1998|
|Middlesbrough 1-4 Bolton Wanderers||17th February 1996||1995-1996|
|Bolton Wanderers 4-1 Ipswich Town||6th April 2002||2001-2002|
Worst Premier League Defeats
|Bolton Wanderers 0-6 Manchester United||25th February 1996||1995-1996|
|Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 Bolton Wanderers||8th November 1997||1997-1998|
|Bolton Wanderers 0-5 Manchester United||25th February 1996||1995-1996|
|Manchester City 6-2 Bolton Wanderers||18th October 2003||2003-2004|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Coventry City||31st January 1998||1997-1998|
|Chelsea 5-1 Bolton Wanderers||23rd December 2001||2001-2002|
|Chelsea 5-1 Bolton Wanderers||15th October 2005||2005-2006|
|Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers||20th January 2007||2006-2007|
|Aston Villa 5-1 Bolton Wanderers||7th November 2009||2009-2010|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Chelsea||2nd October 2011||2011-2012|
|Manager||No of Seasons managed||Left the Club|
|Roy McFarland||1||7th January 1996|
|Colin Todd||2||22nd September 1999|
|Sam Allardyce||6||30th April 2007|
|Sammy Lee||1||17th October 2007|
|Gary Megson||3||30th December 2009|
|Owen Coyle||3||9th October 2012|
Highest Home Attendances
|Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Leicester City||28th December 2003||28,353||2003-2004|
|Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Fulham||6th February 2010||28,353||2009-2010|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Arsenal||20th December 2003||28,003||2003-2004|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Liverpool FC||29th August 2004||27,880||2004-2005|
|Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur||1st February 2005||27,780||2004-2005|
|Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Manchester United||11th September 2004||27,766||2004-2005|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United||1st April 2006||27,718||2005-2006|
|Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Everton||15th May 2005||27,701||2004-2005|
|Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Manchester United||7th January 2004||27,668||2003-2004|
|Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Chelsea||30th April 2005||27,653||2004-2005|
Bolton Wanderers have played Premier League football in 13 seasons and at their peak, the Trotters enjoyed four successive finishes in the top eight under the guidance of Sam Allardyce, peaking with sixth position in 2004-2005. Bolton’s ability to get the best out of experienced players such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Ivan Campo and Gary Speed served them well for several years. Relegation came in 2012 under Owen Coyle’s stewardship and with current severe financial problems; it is looking difficult to see Bolton returning to the top-flight in the short-term.
After an absence of 15 years, Bolton Wanderers returned to the top-flight in 1995-1996 and produced an early season surprise when they defeated reigning champions Blackburn Rovers 2-1. However, they remained at the foot of the table for much of the campaign and in early January, manager Roy McFarland was sacked. His assistant Colin Todd took over and although results did improve, the damage had already been done and Bolton went down on the final Saturday of the season, losing 1-0 to Southampton.
1997-1998 was the first season Bolton Wanderers moved into their new state-of-the-art home and there was controversy in their opening match at The Reebok Stadium. In a goalless draw with Everton, Bolton were denied a goal when Terry Phelan hooked the ball off the goal-line when the ball had clearly crossed the line. It would prove to be a decisive moment in their season. Colin Todd paid a club-record fee to bring Dean Holdsworth to the club in October for £3.5 million and they had a strong home record, winning seven times. However, they went into the final day still needing a positive result to survive.
Bolton went to Chelsea but despite a brave effort, lost 2-0 and were relegated on goal difference as Everton’s 1-1 draw with Coventry City was enough to keep the Toffees in the Premier League. Bolton fans felt robbed because of the controversy during the early-season encounter with Everton in the days where goal-line technology was just a pipedream.
After a four-year absence, Bolton returned to the Premier League with Sam Allardyce as manager and made an amazing start, winning their first three games which included a 2-1 victory over Liverpool FC. Michael Ricketts’ form won him an England international call-up in February and Ricketts also scored the winning goal at Old Trafford as Bolton stunned the champions in October. Form dipped in the winter and it was only the arrivals of Fredi Bobic and Youri Djorkaeff that kept Bolton away from danger. A masterful first half display against Ipswich Town which saw the home side go 4-0 infront before half-time was a crucial result. Bolton finished in 16th place and avoided relegation for the first time in their Premier League existence.
Bolton enjoyed another promising start to the 2002-2003 season. They bounced back well from an opening day 4-1 loss to Fulham by defeating both Aston Villa and then, for a second successive season, success at Old Trafford with Kevin Nolan’s only strike of the season beating Manchester United. Only two wins in their next 21 games followed and another relegation scrap would follow. However, the form of Youri Djorkaeff, Per Frandsen and Jay-Jay Okocha was important in the run-in. They lost only two of their final 13 matches and survival was achieved at West Ham’s expense on the final day after beating Middlesbrough 2-1.
Fears of another relegation scramble looked like a distinct possibility after back-to-back 4-0 defeats on the road at Manchester United and Portsmouth. In fact, Bolton won just one of their first 10 matches but Kevin Nolan’s matchwinner at White Hart Lane in early November was the catalyst for a big improvement from Sam Allardyce’s side. They actually enjoyed a comfortable season, finishing in a tremendous eighth position with a run of five successive victories achieved towards the end of the season. Bolton also reached the League Cup final but lost the showpiece event 2-1 to Middlesbrough.
The arrivals of Fernando Hierro, Gary Speed and El-Hadji Diouf in pre-season added to the quality and experience that Sam Allardyce was forming. The Trotters won three of their first four matches and sat in fourth place after beating Newcastle United 2-1 at the end of October. However, they ended 2004 in 13th place after a dreadful December which brought six successive defeats. Bolton recovered brilliantly from this mid-season slump to beat Arsenal and Everton in the second half of the campaign and finished in a Premier League high of sixth, level on points with Liverpool FC and only behind the Reds on goal difference.
Sam Allardyce had a new assistant with Sammy Lee replacing Phil Brown after Brown decided to go and manage Derby County. Bolton were competing in the UEFA Cup and reached the round-of-32 before bowing out to Marseille. Domestically, the Trotters had another impressive season and looked set for another top six finish until a five-game losing sequence towards the campaign’s end saw them slide to eighth at the season’s end. Allardyce was interviewed for the England manager’s job but lost out on the role to Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren.
Nicolas Anelka was a major new arrival in the summer and although it took until November for him to score, the Frenchman finished with 11 goals to be the club’s top scorer. Bolton again proved tough to beat and sat in third spot on New Years’ Day only below Manchester United and Chelsea in the table. They eventually finished seventh and secured European qualification again but lost their manager as Allardyce resigned three games before the end of the season. Sammy Lee succeeded him.
Bolton made a very slow start to 2007-2008 and after winning just one match in their first nine of the campaign; Sammy Lee was fired in mid-October. Gary Megson was the surprise replacement and it wasn’t a popular appointment either. Megson though managed to galvanise the team to a shock victory over Manchester United in November with Nicolas Anelka scoring the only goal. Anelka scored 10 times before leaving for Chelsea in the January transfer window. An unbeaten five-game sequence at the end of the season, including a final day draw at Stamford Bridge kept Bolton in the top-flight but down in 16th place and only safe by a solitary point from relegated Reading.
Anelka’s long-term replacement in the striking department was Johan Elmander who arrived for a club-record fee of £8.2 million from Toulouse. The Swede struggled though in his debut campaign and so did Bolton again, who eventually finished 13th and lost exactly half of their 38 games. Bolton’s best period came in November when they four out of their five matches including an impressive 4-1 away victory at Sunderland which spelt the end for Roy Keane as Black Cats boss.
The pressure was on Gary Megson early on when Bolton finished August pointless from all three matches played. Just four victories were recorded in the first half of the campaign and after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw with fellow strugglers Hull City during the festive period, Megson was sacked. It was a popular decision with many who had grown tired of his sterile tactics and lack of productive results. Bolton then pursued former player Owen Coyle and managed to persuade him to leave Burnley to take the vacancy at The Reebok. Coyle managed six further victories including a priceless success over his former club in January and completed his short-term mission of keeping Bolton in the Premier League. They eventually finished 14th.
Bolton Wanderers enjoyed a mini renaissance in 2010-2011 and were strong all season at The Reebok Stadium. They won 10 times on home soil, with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal among their victims. The 2-1 victory over the Gunners in April finished off Arsenal’s title challenge for another season. Coyle’s team were sixth just before Christmas and playing some superb football. Elmander enjoyed his best campaign in English football and scored a Goal of the Season contender in a 3-2 away victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers in November.
There was also a run to the FA Cup semi-finals which ended in a demoralising 5-0 defeat to Stoke City and that had a damaging effect on the run-in. The Trotters lost their last five games of the season and ended 14th for the second successive campaign, despite sitting in the top half for the majority of the season.
A 4-0 opening day victory away at Queens Park Rangers turned out to be a false dawn. Bolton went on to lose their next six matches, losing heavily to Manchester United and Chelsea on home soil too. There was a 5-0 triumph over Stoke in November to exact nice revenge on the Potters for April’s FA Cup semi-final hiding but Bolton went into 2012 bottom of the table.
In March, midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in the first half of their FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur. Muamba would make a full recovery but had to retire from playing football professionally after the incident.
After conceding a two-goal lead to draw their final home match of the season against West Bromwich Albion, Bolton had to win at Stoke on the final day to have any chance of avoiding relegation. The 2-2 draw wasn’t enough and that meant they were relegated back to the Championship despite QPR’s final day defeat at Manchester City.