Countdown to 2016/17 - 18 days to go

Wanderers' current Under-16s coach and a former Mexican international feature in the latest countdown article

With just 18 days to go until Wanderers kick off their Sky Bet League One campaign, the club's official website continues its series of countdown articles profiling former players who have worn a specific shirt number for the Whites.

Nicky Spooner 
July 1989 – May 1998

Raised in nearby Manchester, Spooner joined the club as a youngster in the late 1980s, signing YTS forms in 1987 before earning his professional stripes two years later.

Injury was to prove his downfall during his time at Burnden Park however, when aged just 23, he suffered a broken leg in a match against Burnley in October 1994.

It was a stroke of cruel fate that denied Spooner the opportunity to make his mark on Wanderers as a player, with him being limited in his chances with the Trotters. Joining Oldham Athletic on loan in 1998, the defender played just twice for the Latics, earning a red card on his debut against Millwall.

His most successful spell in the game came just a year later however as he spent an enjoyable season with Charleston Battery, also enjoying a temporary stint with Chester City before ending his career with Leigh RMI.

Where is he now?

Now working within the club’s academy, Spooner is helping to development the next generation of Wanderers talent.

Jared Borgetti
July 2005 – September 2006

Something of a journeyman in the game, Mexican forward Borgetti spent a solitary season on English soil during a career which spanned over 16 years with the frontman spending the 2005/06 season with Wanderers.

Arriving at the Reebok Stadium with an impressive back catalogue – most notably notching almost 200 goals in nearly 300 appearances for Mexico based club Santos Laguna, he was prolific for his homeland where he averaged a goal every two games.

His time with the Whites however was much less enjoyable, with his opportunities being restricted in the Premier League as he failed to displace a strike force which included the likes of Stelios, El-Hadji Diouf and Kevin Davies.

He seemed to find his feet in the cup competitions however, grabbing two goals in the UEFA Cup as well as a handful in both the Carling Cup and FA Cup. 

Despite having initially signed a two-year-contract, the forward was released by the club after just a single season but left his mark on Wanderers with his injury time winner against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Whites’ first ever UEFA Cup game.

Playing briefly for Al Ittihad after his departure from Bolton, he retired shortly after.

Where is he now?

Borgetti now works as a football analyst for ESPN.

Sam Ricketts
July 2009 – July 2013

Having begun his career with Oxford United in 2002 before enjoying stints with non-league sides Nuneaton Borough and Telford United, Ricketts received his first big break in the game when Swansea City offered him a route back into league football.

Helping the Swans win promotion to League One in his first season at the club, he was also selected for the PFA Team of the Year at the end of the same campaign. A year later, he made the move to Championship side Hull City where he was involved in the side that won promotion to the Premier League. 

The Welsh International then joined Wanderers in 2009 where he went on to build a reliable reputation, making 96 appearances before leaving the Whites in 2013 for pastures new in Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Although he was sidelined for almost a year because of a snapped Achilles tendon during his four years at the club, Ricketts made his mark on New Year’s Eve 2011 with his only goal for the club – a 20 yard screamer against future club Wolves. 

Where is he now?

Now aged 34 and on the books of Coventry City with whom he linked up with last summer, Ricketts is also captain of the Sky Blues.

Other Bolton No.18s include: Jimmy Phillips, Paul Wheatcroft, Nicky Hunt, Pierre-Yves Andre, Mikel Alonso and Sebastien Puygrenier

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