Skip to main content

Bolton Wanderers FC First Team Staff Profiles

Information on the staff involved with the football club. 

Neil Lennon
First Team Manager

Neil Lennon returns to football management with Bolton Wanderers eager to continue a trend of success that has so far dominated his career. 

Lennon started his career in his native Northern Ireland with Glenavon, before he joined Manchester City as a trainee in 1987.

He signed for Crewe Alexandra on a free transfer in 1990, and would go on to join the likes of Rob Jones and David Platt as one of the early Railwaymen success stories.

Lennon’s impressive displays for the club earned him a maiden Northern Ireland appearance in 1994 as he became the first Crewe player for 60 years to win full international recognition. 

In February 1996 he signed for Martin O’Neill’s Leicester City and was a member of the side that won promotion to the Premier League that year via the play-offs.

After winning the League Cup twice with the Foxes, in 1997 and 2000, Lennon followed O’Neill to his boyhood club Celtic in December 2000, joining the club in a £5.75m deal.

Lennon finished his first season in Scotland with three winner’s medals as Celtic clinched a domestic treble.

He would go on to win a further four league championships, three Scottish Cups and a further League Cup during his time at Celtic Park, while he would later be named captain by O’Neil’s successor Gordan Strachan.

Lennon left the club to join Nottingham Forest in June 2007, but he returned to Celtic Park a year later, via a brief stint at Wycombe Wanderers, as he took his first steps into coaching.

Initially serving as first team coach, Lennon took charge of the Celtic’s reserve side before replacing Tony Mowbray as caretaker manager in March 2010.

Named Celtic manager on a full-time basis in June 2010 following a brief stint in temporary charge, the Hoops won the first silverware of his reign that season as they defeated Motherwell to win the Scottish Cup.

In 2011/12 Lennon guided Celtic to the League Championship for the first time since 2008, as his efforts saw him named SPL and SFWA Manager of the Year, while his side would beat Barcelona at Parkhead in the Champions League the following year.

After clinching the club’s third successive title last season, Lennon decided it was time for a new challenge as he left Celtic after four years in charge back in May.

Steve Walford
First Team Assistant Manager

The club announced the appointment of Steve Walford as the club’s new assistant manager in September 2015.

Coming into the Whites’ backroom set-up to replace Johan Mjallby, the 57-year-old is a man who boasts a plethora of experience in the game.

A defender during his playing days, the Highgate-born centre-half started out at Tottenham Hotspur during the mid-1970s, but it was with the White Hart Lane outfit’s rivals Arsenal that he really made his name.

With Terry Neill signing the 19-year-old for £25,000, he went on to amass 98 appearances for the Gunners in his four years at Highbury, featuring as a late substitute in the team's 1979 FA Cup Final success over Manchester United.

The centre back was a regular in Arsenal's backline in the early 1980s, before Norwich came calling and secured his services for £125,000 in March 1981. 

Walford then spent three seasons in Suffolk before moving back to the capital in 1983, linking up with West Ham United where he spent six seasons, making over 100 appearances for the Hammers.

Also enjoying loan spells with Huddersfield Town, Gillingham and West Bromwich Albion during his time at the Boleyn Ground, the defender’s latter years also included a brief stint playing for Lai Sun of Hong Kong before he finished up with Wycombe Wanderers.

Moving into coaching with the latter in 1990, he acted as head coach with the Chairboys for five years, working under the stewardship of Martin O’Neill – a partnership which has remained an integral part of Walford’s coaching career ever since.

Briefly working at Norwich City, he then spent five seasons at Leicester City where he firstly worked with current Bolton manager Neil Lennon, first team coach Garry Parker and Whites’ striker Emile Heskey.

Linking up with the Northern Irishman once again during their respective spells at Celtic in the early noughties, Walford departed Scotland for Aston Villa in 2006 and has since acted as assistant manager for Sunderland and, alongside O’Neill, coach for the Republic of Ireland national side.

Boasting 25 years of coaching experience across both the English and Scottish game, Walford linked up with Lennon and his team at Macron Stadium in September 2015.

Garry Parker
First Team Coach

An experienced top-flight midfielder, Garry Parker reunites with Neil Lennon at Macron Stadium having played alongside the new Bolton Wanderers manager for five years at Leicester City.

The pair linked up again at Parkhead following the Northern Irishman’s appointment as Celtic manager as Parker came in as first team coach – a position he again takes up with the Whites.

Starting his career at First Division Luton Town as an apprentice in 1982, the 49-year-old made his debut for the Hatters the following year, however, infrequent appearances saw Parker join Hull City in 1986.

An automatic starter during his time with the Tigers, Parker’s consistent displays over his two-and-a-half years with the club saw Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest part with £260,000 to bring the midfielder to the East Midlands in 1988. 

Parker initially struggled to cement a starting berth at Forest before he made the left midfield berth his own during the second half of his first season with the club. 

A two time League Cup winner in 1989 and 1990, Parker also scored twice at Wembley in their Full Members Cup Final victory over Everton.

He was sold to Aston Villa in 1991 and was a member of the side that narrowly missed out on winning the first ever Premier League title in 1993.

Joining Leicester City in February 1995, Parker would eventually partner Lennon in the centre of midfield following the Bolton boss’ arrival at the club 12 months later.

Although his first season with the Foxes ended in relegation, Leicester bounced back the following year to win promotion via the Play-Offs with Parker himself scoring in the final, while he would later win the third League Cup winner’s medal of his career after beating Middlesbrough in 1997.

Making his last appearance for the club in January 1999, Parker would not officially retire until the end of the 2000/01 season, having already joined the backroom staff at Filbert Street.

Following the departure of Peter Taylor as manager the following season, Parker briefly took charge of the side in October 2001.

Forming part of Celtic’s successful backroom set-up alongside Lennon and Johan Mjallby after joining the club in July 2010, Parker will be keen his time at the Trotters will be just as memorable for the trio. 

Bobby Mimms
First Team Goalkeeping Coach

Following Lee Turner's departure to Charlton Athletic at the start of the 2015/16 season, former Everton and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Bobby Mimms was appointed as Bolton Wanderers' new goalkeeping coach in August 2015.

The 51-year-old joined Neil Lennon’s backroom set-up from Blackpool, having previously held the same position with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn and West Ham United in the Premier League, as well as with Oldham Athletic and the Bahrain national side.

Featuring for no less than 13 teams during his playing days, Mimms famously served as Neville Southall and Tim Flowers’ understudies at Everton and Blackburn respectively, and was a member of either club’s 1986/87 First Division and 1994/95 Premiership-winning squads.

The former England Under-21s international also started for Everton in the 1986 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, before replacing Ray Clemence as Tottenham Hotspur’s first-choice goalkeeper in 1988 prior to his move to Blackburn.

Following his arrival at Macron Stadium, Mimms started working closely with Ben Amos and Ross Fitzsimons ahead of the Whites' season opener against Derby County.

Iain Brunskill
Development Coach

Iain Brunskill became the latest addition to Neil Lennon’s coaching set-up at Macron Stadium when he was appointed as the club’s new development coach, tasked with overseeing Bolton Wanderers’ under-21 and development squad.

Having worked for The Football Association before linking up with the Whites, Brunskill has also enjoyed coaching stints with Liverpool FC, Blackburn Rovers and Maltese side Floriana FC.

A former player, he came through the ranks at Liverpool. He would sign for Bury in 1996, before returning to Anfield as assistant academy technical director in March 1998.

Brunskill left Liverpool to become reserve team manager at Blackburn Rovers in August 2008 after Paul Ince’s arrival as manager at Ewood Park. He would retain the position under former Trotters manager Sam Allardyce, before being promoted to first team coach by Steve Kean in December 2010.

Leaving Ewood Park in December 2012, Brunskill soon took up his first role in senior management as he joined Maltese side Floriana FC as their new head coach on a short-term contract the following month.

Returning to England in June 2013, Iain started working for the FA, joining their coach development department as youth coach educator, before linking up with Lennon at Macron Stadium.

Andrew Hughes
Assistant Development Coach

Bolton Wanderers appointed Andy Hughes as a professional development coach back in the summer of 2014.

Hughes was most recently on the books of Charlton Athletic and made a total of eight appearances during the 2013/14 campaign.

Currently working across the club’s under-21 and academy sides in his new role at Bolton, Hughes brings a vast amount of experience to the club having played in over 600 senior games across the Football League for the likes of Norwich City, Reading and Leeds United, as well as four Football League promotions to his name.

Having made the substitutes' bench on four occasions early in the season, the veteran focused more on the coaching side of his role as the campaign went on - occasionally pulling on his boots and sharing his experience with Wanderers' Under-21s side. 

Serving as the club's caretaker manager for a first team fixture against Bournemouth in October 2014, Hughes then took charge of the Under-21s on an interim basis following Neil Lennon's arrival at Macron Stadium, before reverting to his original role after Iain Brunskill's appointment.

Mark Leather
Head of Sports Performance

Boasting experience in the professional game spanning over 25 years including ten seasons in the Premier League as Head of Sports Medicine for both Liverpool and Sunderland, Leather previously worked with the club under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce before returning back in May 2013.

Alongside his exploits in the top flight of English football, Leather has also plied his trade with a variety of other clubs including Brighton & Hove Albion, Preston North End and Burnley as well as holding the position of Head Physiotherapist for Wigan Warriors.

Having obtained a Master’s degree in Sports Physiology and a teaching qualification, Leather has also worked at Edge Hill University where he led the MSc Football Rehabilitation programme.

Dave Dean
Sports Rehabilitator

Dave Dean is part of the Wanderers' medical team and his role represents quite a career change, as he had previously spent 17 years of his life working in a bank.

Despite coming from a completely different industry, Dean does have sporting connections, playing rugby and volleyball and at one point be was the GB women's volleyball coach. 

He was made redundant from his job at the bank which prompted him to go back to college and studied sports therapy at Thameside College for two years before going on to study in more depth at Salford University. 

Part of the course at Salford included a two-month work placement with Bolton and after qualifying he was offered a job in the medical department in 2008. 

Dean’s job involves providing a wide range of massage routines to ensure that everyone at the club remains in peak physical condition. 

The massages are not just for players who have picked up a niggle. On the eve of any away matches for example, Dean will travel with the squad and offer massages to players that helps them sleep, which is all part of the team’s preparation. 

He also has to make sure all the stock of medical equipment we may need is readily available, help set up the treatment room and perform any last minute massages that are needed.

Chris Short
First Team Fitness Coach

Having been involved in the game both as a player and as a coach, Chris Short joined the club in the summer of 2013 as First Team Fitness Coach.

After enjoying spells with the likes of Notts County, Sheffield United and Stoke City during a 15 year professional career, Short went on to secure a BSc Sports Science Degree from Manchester Metropolitan University alongside a diploma in Sports Massage Therapy.

Since his retirement from the game over a decade ago, Short has been employed as a massage therapist with Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield United and Derby County alongside holding the position of first team fitness coach at Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Leeds United.

Heavily experienced in the field, he also enjoyed a spell as Head of Performance at Brad Friedel’s Soccer Academy in Ohio, USA.

In his everyday role, Short is responsible for the conditioning of the players, including rehabilitating gym and Cryotherapy sessions as well as monitoring body compositions and nutritional requirements and conducting warm-up sessions for all players and individuals.

Alongside his duties for the club, the 42-year-old is due to row the English Channel this summer for charity.

Steve Megson
First Team Head Physiotherapist

Steve Megson joined the medical team at the club back in June 2013 from fellow Championship side Leeds United.

Having originally qualified as a sports scientist in 1998, Megson went on to complete a further degree in sports rehabilitation and an MSc in physiotherapy.

Prior to making the move to Bolton Wanderers, Megson worked full-time with the medical team at Leeds United between 2006 and 2013 as a first team physiotherapist – a role which included assisting with youth development as Head of Sports Science and Medicine for the club’s academy alongside his role with the first team.  

Now fully immersed into life with the Whites, Megson is charged with monitoring and treating the fit and injured players alongside holding the responsibility of injury assessment and rehabilitation, injury prevention, training and match day preparation, medical screening and performance enhancement.

Dan Birdsall
Strength & Conditioning Coach

Having spent six years with Morecambe Football Club as Head of Sports Science prior to joining the club in the summer of 2013, Dan Birdsall boasts a degree in Sport and Exercise Science alongside the FA Applied Football Science and Conditioning award.

Wholly experienced in the field, Birdsall provides sports science advice and feedback on a daily basis and works closely with the medical department during gym based rehabilitation of injured players.

Providing each player with a tailored recovery plan following matches and training, he also works closely with the medical department during gym based rehabilitation of injured players and structures the general conditioning program for the whole squad focusing on improving strength and power whilst reducing the risk of injury. 

Kristian Aldred
First Team Sports Scientist

After securing a 1st class honours degree in Sport & Exercise Science and an MSc in Sport & Exercise Science Physiology at the University of Central Lancashire in 2011, Kristian Aldred joined the club in the same year as a Sport Science intern.

Originally brought in to support the academy squad, Aldred progressed to work within Wanderers’ development squad set-up before joining the first team backroom staff in the summer of 2013.

Alongside monitoring the daily training load and producing summaries of collected data to ensure that the players are at the peak of fitness, Aldred also administers Cryotheraphy sessions and assists other members of the medical department with gym and field based conditioning sessions.

Matt Fox
Assistant First Team Physiotherpaist

A key member of the club’s backroom staff, Matt Fox boasts a plethora of experience.

After qualifying as a physiotherapist in 2001 with a degree in Sports Science, Fox later completed a conversion degree to Physiotherapy and graduated from Teesside University in 2004.

Alongside his studies, he spent three years working for the NHS and four with Manchester City’s academy before joining the club as Head Academy Physiotherapist in 2008.

Now a part of the first team set-up at Bolton Wanderers, Fox’s role requires him to assist with the rehabilitation of injured players alongside the preparation of players for training and matches.

Outside of the game, he is currently working towards an MSc in Manual Therapy at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Alan Watmough
Soft Tissue Therapist

Now in his third full season as a member of the club’s medical department following eight years with Preston North End, Alan Watmough works full time with the first team squad with his role requiring him to administer both pre and post training treatments of all players.

Working under the supervision of Head Physiotherapist Steve Megson, Watmough helps to form part of the rehabilitation treatment of injured players as and when required and provides soft tissue work on matchdays alongside assisting in setting up medical and nutritional equipment.

Outside of his role with the club, he also works in a well-established chiropractic clinic.