Countdown to 2016/17 - 21 days to go

With three weeks to go into Wanderers' opening game of the campaign,'s countdown articles continue

Three weeks today, Wanderers will be kicking off their 2016/17 Sky Bet League One campaign at home to Sheffield United. With that in mind, puts three former occupants of the number 21 shirt under the microscope. 

Chris Fairclough
July 1995 – May 1998

A man best known for his spells at both the City Ground and Elland Road, Fairclough’s efforts in the game certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Born and raised in Nottingham, the defender started his career with Forest in the early 1980s, remaining a Reds player for six years before Tottenham came calling in 1987. 

Two years at White Hart Lane followed – including a brief loan spell with Leeds – with the Whites moving to bring the centre-half to Yorkshire on a permanent deal soon after.

Winning two league titles with United over a six year spell, he made the switch over the Pennines in 1995 with Wanderers his next port of call.

Newly promoted Bolton failed to remain a Premiership outfit despite the efforts of Fairclough and his teammates, but the defender did help the club return to the promised land in 1997 as league champions.

In his mid-thirties by this point, Fairclough’s career was visibly winding down and after departing the Reebok Stadium in 1998, he enjoyed stints with Notts County and York City before retiring in 2001. 

Where is he now?

After hanging up his boots, he moved into coaching and enjoyed spells at both Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic.

El-Hadji Diouf
August 2004 - July 2008

One of the game’s biggest personalities during the noughties, controversy certainly following Diouf throughout his career.

Having made his first move to England with Liverpool back in the summer of 2002 after spells with Lens, Rennes and Sochaux, the winger failed to make the grade at Anfield and as a result, was loaned to Bolton for the duration of the 2004/05 campaign.

A decision which ultimately proved to be a masterstroke, Diouf helped the Whites qualify for the UEFA Cup that year and made the permanent move to BL6 in the same summer.

Spending a further three years with the club, making over 130 appearances during his time with the Whites, he helped keep Bolton in the Premier League in 2008 and moved to Sunderland shortly after.

Moving to Blackburn after just six months at the Stadium of Light, he linked up with former manager Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park and enjoyed two-and-a-half years with Rovers, including a brief loan spell with Rangers, before joining Doncaster Rovers.

Last on the books at Leeds United, he departed Elland Road in the summer of 2014 after being released by the club and spent a season with Malaysian side Sabah FA before hanging up his boots.

Where is he now?

Since leaving England, the former Senegalese international has experienced a change in career path with him starting a new job as an ambassador for Senegal president Macky Sall late last year. 

Tamir Cohen
January 2008 - May 2011

The son of former Liverpool star Avi Cohen, Tamir started his career in his native Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv and latterly Maccabi Netanya before linking up with Wanderers in 2008.

Making his debut for the club in a 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United, the midfielder scored his first top flight goal against Liverpool in March of the same year – ironically against the team with whom his father made his name in England.

He went on to score five further goals for the Trotters, with his most notable effort coming in April 2011 as he scored an injury time winner against Arsenal at Macron Stadium, visibly emotional in his celebrations following the recent death of Avi.

Injuries however largely restricted his involvement with the Whites, with Cohen being released by the club at the end of the 2010/11 season after three-and-a-half seasons at BL6 in which he made a total of 58 appearances in all competition.

Where is he now?

Spending time with Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Ra’anana after leaving Bolton, very little is known about the Israeli’s whereabouts nowadays.

Other Bolton No.21s include: Mark Fish, Rod Wallace, Chris Armstrong, Ariza Makukula and Darren Pratley

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