Long-serving goalkeeper pleased with welcome from club's supporters during his first run-out at Macron Stadium for four years
Speaking following the final whistle in last weekend’s Legends Match, club stalwart Jussi Jaaskelainen was thrilled with the reception he received from the club’s supporters in a game which saw the shot-stopper also figure in an outfield position.
A key member of the Whites’ first team squad from his arrival in England in 1997 until his departure from Macron Stadium four summers ago, the Finnish goalkeeper played in almost 530 games for Wanderers, earning ultimate legendary status in the process.
Now plying his trade for neighbours Wigan Athletic, the 41-year-old started between the sticks last weekend for John McGinlay’s side before latterly figuring up front.
A memorable day all round for the Jaaskelainen family with son Will also getting a run-out, the Finn was delighted to play his part in helping raise valuable funds for two worthy causes alongside rolling back the years in front of supporters who still hold him in the highest regard.
“It was great to come back and to see so many fans turn up – it was a good day for everybody,” Jaaskelainen said. “It was so nice to get such a great reception from the Bolton fans. At the end of the day though, Bolton Wanderers is my football home – it always has been and always will be.
“For me, having spent 15 years of my career here, it is always a club very close to my heart and two of my boys are still in the academy – Bolton Wanderers has been a big part of my life for so long and will continue to be in the future.”
Reflecting on seeing his eldest son Will, a product of the club’s academy set-up, come on for him in the clash, he added, “It was a proud moment for me, for Will to replace me, but he is only a young baby in terms of his development as a goalkeeper.
“He is only 17 and for myself, I only had my first game in the first team when I was 22 and then I didn’t play in the Premier League for a few years after that.
“As long as he keeps working hard and the club are patient with him, I think he’ll do well here.”
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