Countdown to 2016/17 - 11 days to go

Just eleven days remain until Wanderers kick off their league campaign at home to Sheffield United

With the start of the new campaign well and truly in sight, Wanderers' official website continues its series of countdown articles profiling former players of the club.

Alan Thompson 
July 1993 – June 1998

Part of the club during their success of the 1990s, Thompson’s five years with the Whites certainly ensured that he is still held in the highest regard around these parts.

Born and bred in Newcastle, the midfielder started his career with the Magpies in their youth set-up before turning professional at St James’ Park, although he struggled to make his mark on their first team.

Moving to Burnden Park in 1993, he quickly became an important member of team, going on to score at Wembley against Liverpool in the 1995 League Cup Final while helping the club secure promotion to the top flight via the play-offs in the same season.

Afforded the honour of scoring the Trotters’ first official goal at the then-named Reebok Stadium against Tottenham Hotspur in September 1997, he had previously notched the club’s inaugural Premier League strike against Wimbledon on the opening day of the 1995/96 campaign.

Departing the club in the summer of 1998, he spent two seasons with Aston Villa before moving up to Celtic where he linked up with former Bolton boss Neil Lennon who was plying his trade at Celtic Park.

Where is he now?

Rounding off his career with stints at both Leeds and Hartlepool, Thompson has since held various coaching positions with the likes of Newcastle, Celtic, Birmingham City and Blackpool.

Ricardo Gardner
July 1998 – May 2012

A man who held the No.11 shirt at the club for an astonishing eleven seasons, not many would have predicted the impact which Gardner would have for the Whites upon his arrival at BL6 in 1998.

Having plied his trade in his homeland of Jamaica with Harbour View throughout his early years in the game, the winger made the move to England as a 19-year-old in the late 1990s and despite seeing injury curtail his initial impact, he quickly became part of the furniture at Wanderers.

Helping the club win promotion via the play-offs in 2001, even scoring in the Whites’ 3-0 victory over Preston North End at the Millennium Stadium, he went on to prove himself an invaluable member of the squad throughout the noughties.

Scored his first goal in over five years during a UEFA Cup tie with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in November 2007, he helped keep the club in the Premier League the following May before injuries again ensured that he featured less prominently towards the latter stages of his Bolton career.

Briefly loaned to Preston during the 2010/11 campaign, he hung up his boots at the end of the following season but is considered a club legend for his efforts in the white of Wanderers.

Where is he now?

Following his retirement, Gardner returned to his native Jamaica where he has remained since.

Rob Hall
March 2013 – July 2016

The club’s last occupant of the No.11 shirt, Hall – who left the Whites this summer - held it since arriving at the club on a permanent deal at the start of the 2013/14 season, taking over the number from fellow winger Gregg Wylde.

The Aylesbury-born forward started his career with West Ham United, only to see his opportunities at first team level limited after turning pro with the Hammers.

Loaned to Oxford United, MK Dons and Birmingham City between 2011 and 2013, he linked up with the Whites on a temporary deal towards the latter stages of the 2012/13 campaign and was handed his debut in a final day clash with Blackpool at Macron Stadium.

Turning his move permanent that summer, he agreed a three-year deal with the Trotters and has since made 34 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring twice.

Loaned to Dons late last season, he helped the club win promotion to the Championship as League One runners-up and returned to stadiummk at the start of last campaign on a season-long loan deal.

Where is he now?

After suffering a cruciate ligament injury towards the latter stages of the 2015/16 campaign, Hall was recently snapped up by fellow League One outfit Oxford United.

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