Jason McAteer savours emotional Bolton return

Former Republic of Ireland international reflects upon his recent return to his former club in last Saturday's Legends Match

Having returned to the club where he started his professional career for last weekend’s Legends Match, Jason McAteer admitted that the opportunity to come back was one he simply couldn’t turn down.

On the books of the Trotters as a young player making his way in the game in the early 1990s, the midfielder went on to enjoy a successful career with Liverpool, Blackburn, Sunderland and Tranmere before moving into coaching and then punditry since retiring.

And with his heart still visibly attached to his first club, the 44-year-old was relishing the opportunity to reunite with the Whites’ faithful alongside a number of his former teammates in last Saturday’s charity game.

“It felt amazing to be back in Bolton,” said McAteer. “I was saying prior to the game that when I did the Liverpool versus Bolton FA Cup game for BT Sport last season, I got such a great reception from the Bolton fans.

“I was nearly in tears to be fair – it was quite emotional. When I got asked to do this, to come back and play in front of these fans, it was just a dream come true. I said yes straight away and I’m so glad that I did.

“Ultimately though, it’s all about the two causes and that’s why we all made the trip here and gave up our time to play.”

He continued: “From my point of view, it was great to link back up with some of the players I played with like John McGinlay, Stubbsy and Scott Green – we were all reminiscing in the dressing room and remembering the good times both before and after the game.

“It was a brilliant game – footballers never lose that edge and we always want to win and I think that definitely showed throughout. It was just such a great day though really and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

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