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Countdown to 2016/17 - 16 days to go

21 July 2016

A former Japan international and a current Bolton midfielder feature in today's countdown article

With just 16 days to go until Wanderers' Sky Bet League One opener, bwfc.co.uk's special series of countdown articles profiling players who have worn a specific shirt number for the club continues.



Gavin Ward 
March 1996 – February 1999

A true journeyman of the English game having plied his trade for no less than 19 different clubs during a career which spanned over 25 years, goalkeeper Ward only managed to hit triple figures in terms of appearances for one side.

A product of Aston Villa’s youth academy, he spent time with Shrewsbury Town and West Bromwich Albion before earning his big break with Cardiff City and Bradford City prior to his move to Wanderers in 1996.

Only turning out for the Whites on 34 occasions over a three-year spell however including a brief loan stint with Burnley whilst at the Reebok Stadium, he moved to Stoke City in 1999 where he made over a century of appearances for the Potters.

Finding himself dropping down the leagues following his departure from Stoke, Ward plied his trade for the likes of Walsall, Coventry, Preston, Tranmere, Chester City, Wrexham, Hednesford Town and Gainborough Trinity where he officially hung up his boots in 2011.

Where is he now?

Coming out of retirement briefly with Shrewsbury Town in 2012 to provide cover on the bench following an injury to their second choice shot-stopper, Ward linked up with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink earlier this year to become QPR’s goalkeeping coach.



Hidetoshi Nakata
August 2005 – May 2006

A man considered to be one of the most famous Asian footballers of his generation and one of the greatest Japanese players of all time, it was with Wanderers that Nakata played his final competitive domestic game ten years ago.

Still only 39 years of age, the midfielder had begun his career with Bellmare Hiratsuka in his homeland before moving to Italy in 1998 where he went on to don the shirts of Perugia, Roma, Parma, Bologna and latterly Fiorentina.

It was with the latter that the Japan international caught the eye of the Whites, with Nakata agreeing terms on a season-long loan deal at the then-Reebok Stadium.

Figuring for the Whites in their first ever UEFA Cup campaign as he made a total of 32 appearances during the 2005/06 campaign, he scored a solitary goal on English soil in a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in October 2005.

Bowing out of club football with a 1-0 win over Birmingham on the final day of the season, Nakata played a further three times for his homeland in the 2006 World Cup finals before hanging up his boots after Japan exited the tournament at the group stages.

Where is he now?

Enjoying something of an exile from the game following his retirement, Nakata now owns his own sake company.



Mark Davies
January 2009 - Present

A product of Wolves’ youth set-up, Davies arrived at BL6 in January 2009 having struggled to hold down a starting berth at Molineux after turning professional in the summer of 2005.

Loaned briefly to Leicester in late 2008, with whom he made nine appearances and scored twice, he departed Wolves at the beginning of the New Year with Wanderers his next port of call.

Then only 20 years of age, Davies made ten appearances during the remainder of the season before kicking on from thereon in and proving himself to be an instrumental part of the Whites’ line-up.

Picking up the club’s Goal of the Season award for his effort against Blackpool back in 2010, Davies’ attacking prowess and ability on the ball ensured that he wasted no time in endearing himself to the club’s faithful.

And although injuries have played their part in ensuring that the midfielder’s appearance count is not as high as it perhaps should be, the former England youth international has racked up over 200 appearances for the club so far, scoring 16 goals in all competitions.



Other Bolton No.16s include: Fredi Bobic, Ivan Campo and Andranik Teymourian

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