Sam Allardyce is relishing the prospect of an emotional return to the Wanderers’ dug-out as he prepares to lead a team of his former stars.
Allardyce will be back to manage a Bolton All-Stars side against a current Wanderers’ line-up for Sunday’s fund-raising game at the University of Bolton Stadium (KO 1pm).
And the former Wanderers boss – who led the Whites into the top six of the Premier League and European competition for the first time in the club’s history in 2005 – admits coming back to a place where he enjoyed such success will be a special moment.
“It wrenches the heart strings sometimes but life moves on. I’ve lived a wonderful life and the biggest part of it is the Wanderers as a player and a manager,” said Allardyce, who spent almost eight years as Wanderers’ boss.
“It’s going to be great to be back. It’s going to be a pleasure to be here on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it a great deal.
“It was never better as a player, never better as a manager – even though I managed England.
“This was the place for me. This was the place that had such a special place in my heart.
“It’s going to be great to be back and see the old boys who played for me when I was here as manager and the other lads who I know really well.”
Some of the key men who Allardyce moulded into one of Wanderers’ best sides will be also be back on Sunday in a fixture being staged to raise funds for the treatment and care of Karen Jones – mother of current defender Gethin – and the Darby Rimmer Foundation, which helps funds research into MND.
The All Stars squad is set include Jussi Jaaskelainen, Jay Jay Okocha, Nicky Hunt, Gudni Bergsson, Sam Ricketts, Ricardo Gardner, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Chris Eagles, Kevin Davies, Henrik Pedersen, David Lee, John McGinlay, Gavin McCann, Mike Whitlow, Alan Stubbs and Ivan Klasnic.
“It shows how much it’s meant to them and how they enjoyed their time when they played here to take the commitment to come back and play again,” added Allardyce.
“And of course to play for the cause and play for Karen and Gethin and to raise money for MND.
“I hope it’s a good game. Thanks to Ian (Evatt) we’re playing a Wanderers’ side and we’ll look forward to it.”
To watch the full interview with Sam, click HERE
Cash turnstiles will be open for the game at blocks E and H of Frankingsense South Stand lower tier.
And to buy tickets ahead of the game, which has attracted close to 10,000 fans, click HERE