Former midfielder and current Community Ambassador offers his thoughts following Saturday's charity game at Macron Stadium
Having seen almost 11,000 people turn out for Saturday’s Legends Match, Tony Kelly admitted that the hard work of pulling the event together has been more than worth it to see smiles on the faces of the club’s supporters.
With a whole host of former players returning to Bolton including Jay-Jay Okocha, Ivan Klasnic, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Jason McAteer alongside a handful of famous faces in Bolton supporters Danny Jones and Paddy McGuinness, a sun-drenched Macron Stadium was treated to an eight-goal thriller as McGinlay’s XI ran out 6-2 winners.
Raising valuable funds for the club’s Community Trust and the newly-established Supporters’ Trust in the process, Kelly praised his former teammate for his work in ensuring that the day was one to remember for all involved.
“I have to thank John for his efforts because he has worked tirelessly,” he said. “People don’t know what has gone on behind the scenes. We didn’t know what the team would be exactly until the night before!
“Days like this though prove exactly what fans are to a football club and how much Bolton Wanderers means to everybody, including the players who came back.
“Some players unfortunately couldn’t make it, but we’ve all enjoyed it and everybody has gone home with a smile on their face. It’s onwards and upwards from here.”
He continued: “This football club is my life – it’s not nice to be where we are right now, but we’ve been lucky enough to play for this team and enjoy some great times which I have no doubt will return.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but we’re all there and ready for the slog. People can start looking forward now.
“The fans are special – they are this football club. If we get off to a good start next season, they will be there and this place will be rocking.
“We’re all pulling together because we want to get back to where we belong. We know it won’t happen overnight, but we’re ready for the hard work.”
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