Foot in Both Camps: Bolton Wanderers vs. Aston Villa

Bolton Wanderers take on Aston Villa at the University of Bolton Stadium this Friday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship.

With that in mind, takes a look at a selection of players who have played for both sides involved.

Gavin McCann

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The tenacious midfielder spent time at Aston Villa from July 2003 until June 2007.

In that five year timeframe, McCann made over 100 appearances for the Midlands club, playing his entire Villa career in the Premier League.

Following his time at Villa Park, the former England international joined Wanderers in 2007 on a five-year deal.

He was a key figure in the Whites UEFA Cup years, scoring the sole goal in a 1-0 away victory against Red Star Belgrade. This was quite a pertinent goal, as Wanderers became the first English side to win in Serbia.

McCann finished his career with the Whites in 2011.

Now, he is on the academy coaching staff, aiding Nicky Spooner in working with Wanderers Under-18s.

Gary Cahill

Joining the Aston Villa academy in 2000, Cahill went on to make his debut for the Villans five years later.

Following positive loan spells at Burnley and Sheffield United on loan, along with over 30 appearances for Villa, then Wanderers manager Gary Megson signed the defender on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2008.

Following a successful debut in a 2-0 away victory against Reading, the centre-back went from strength to strength for Wanderers.

With over 140 appearances and 15 goals to his name during a four-year stay in BL6, the England international certainly left a positive impression on the fans before joining Chelsea in January 2012.

Gareth Farrelly

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After joining the academy setup at Aston Villa from Home Farm in the 1990s, Farrelly made his debut for the side against Peterborough United in September 1995.

Fast forwarding to 1999 and the Irishman found himself initially on loan to the Whites, but it was made permanent soon after. 

He wrote himself into Bolton folk law, as he scored the opening goal in the First Division play-off final against Preston North End that saw the Whites return to the Premier League in a 3-1 victory.

Farrelly made 93 appearances and six goals to his name during a five-year stay at Wanderers.

Neil Cox

In 1991, Cox left his boyhood club Scunthorpe United to join Aston Villa for a reported fee of £400,000 which was a club record for The Iron at the time.

During his career at Villa Park, he came on for the final ten minutes of the 1994 League Cup Final against Manchester United, which the Villians went on to win 3-1.

After a stint at Middlesbrough, the former England U21 international joined the Whites in 1997.

He played in the 1999 First Division play-off Final for Wanderers against Watford.

Zat Knight

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The former England international defender linked up with Aston Villa in 2007, after leaving Fulham for a reported £3.5 million to play for his boyhood club.

In his two seasons at Villa Park, Knight helped the Midlands club to finish in consecutive sixth placed finishes in the Premier League before moving to Wanderers in July 2009 on a three-year contract.

Knight made 191 appearances during his five-year stay at the University of Bolton Stadium, which involved a F.A Cup semi-final appearance at Wembley.

Alan Thompson

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After leaving his boyhood club of Newcastle United to join Wanderers in 1993, Thompson went onto make just under 200 appearances for the club in a six-year stint in BL6.

With 42 goals coming whilst applying his trade for the Whites, the former England international was involved in the 1994/95 promotion to the Premier League.

A further medal coming in 1996/97 in the form of a First Division winners’ honour, as the Whites won the league with 100 goals scored and 98 points accrued and Thompson scoring ten goals in that campaign.

From Lancashire to the Midlands, as the midfielder moved to Aston Villa in 1998 and made over 50 appearances for the Villans in a two-year stay at the club.

Alan Hutton

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Hutton moved to Aston Villa back in 2011, joining from Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year deal.

Since then, the Scotland international has made over 150 competitive appearances for the club, being a constant figure during his time at Villa Park and this season.

Whilst contracted to Villa, Hutton had a brief loan spell at the Whites in 2014, making nine appearances.

Jlloyd Samuel

The former Trinidad and Tobago international made his debut for the Villans in September 1999 against Chester City in the League Cup.

With a short spell at Gillingham on loan during his stay at Villa Park, Samuel went on to make 189 appearances for the Midlands club, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001.

The left back left Villa to join the Whites in July 2007, signing a four-year contract.

With 83 appearances for Wanderers during a five-year spell at the club, he became a regular fixure in the side.

Tragically, Samuel lost his life in a car crash in May 2018, with the thoughts of everybody at Bolton Wanderers remaining with his loved ones.

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