'Thanks And Welcome'

Hello and a warm and sincere welcome to the University of Bolton Stadium as we host Wycombe Wanderers for our first home game of the new League One campaign.

Last Saturday’s opening game of the season at Ipswich Town saw around 1,400 Wanderers fans make the eight-hour round trip to get behind the team. That level of dedication underlines just how special our fans are.

That we are offering a free drink for those of you who went to Portman Road in our brand new Fan Zone is the very least we could do to show our appreciation.

​​​​Getting a point there was a great result because I don't think many teams will, and it provides a great platform for us to build on.

​​​​In the three years of having the honour of being Chairman of Bolton Wanderers Football Club, I can only marvel at how much of a unifying power that the beautiful game of football is. During that time, the challenges that have affected every single person on this planet have been extraordinary. 

​​​​The life-changing consequences of the Covid pandemic, the horrors of a brutal and bloody war unfolding in front of our eyes in Ukraine and the worrying cost of living crisis which is affecting us all, have seemingly altered irrevocably the world in which we live.

​​​​But as human beings, we are resilient and when we come together as a community and as a family, we are unconquerable.

​​​​Three years of my being in the Bolton Wanderers Family has reaffirmed this.

​​​​The love and passion you have and continue to invest in our Club thrives and flourishes in spite of these difficult circumstances. It’s tangible and inspires me, Michael and Nick, to move mountains so that we can take Wanderers back to where we belong.

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​​​​Your support has been incredible and is growing with every passing day. More than 13,000 of you have bought season tickets, and while I know that some of you are not able to commit to purchasing them, you continue to show your valuable support in many other ways, which is appreciated.

​​​​The Club means so much to so many in the town of Bolton and beyond and we have been supported by many other stakeholders on our journey; sponsors and partners, our friends and colleagues at the University of Bolton Stadium and Bolton Council as well as many other community patrons. 

​​​​Our loyal and dedicated staff, led by Neil Hart and his Executive Team, have been exemplary and have helped to foster an incredible culture within the Club. They take great pride in what they do and how they do it.

​​​​The Bolton Wanderers Family works in harmony with one another, with the goal of emboldening and enriching our community, not only for the present but for the future.

​​​​We are all excited for this new season, and are very confident that the progress we have made on the field will continue.

​​​​I must thank our incredible and loyal manager Ian Evatt, his dedicated staff and the wonderful group of hardworking, fun and talented players.

​​​​We are all on this journey together as one club, one community, one town and we must remember that tough times bring resilience and strength, and make the good times feel even better.

​​Finally, I would like to congratulate Sarina Wiegman and the Lionesses on Sunday’s victory against Germany in the European Championship final. They have captivated the entire nation throughout the tournament and will go on to inspire so many young people. Let’s hope their success emboldens the men’s and women’s games which in turn will enrich communities across England.

I hope you enjoy today’s game and I look forward to seeing you throughout the season.


NB: The chairman’s column is included in today’s first edition of match-day programme ‘The Wanderer’ for sale in and around the stadium this afternoon.

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