Both on and off the pitch, Wanderers were winners at last night’s EFL Awards in London.
Captain Ricardo Almeida Santos was named in the Sky Bet League One Team of the Season while away from the football, the club was announced as the Fan Engagement Award winner.
Santos was recognised after another outstanding season which has seen the defender lead Wanderers into play-off contention and, famously, lift the Papa Johns Trophy at Wembley following their 4-0 final win over Plymouth Argyle.
One of Wanderers' longest serving players after joining the Whites in August, 2020, Santos has played his part in 21 clean sheets kept by Ian Evatt's men so far in League One this season.
The 27-year-old has made 36 appearances to date for the Whites this season and is hoping to be back from injury before the end of the campaign to help Wanderers try and secure a top-six finish and a place in the play-offs.
Everyone at Bolton Wanderers sends their congratulations to Rico.
Manager Ian Evatt said: “It’s wonderful for him to be in that. He thoroughly deserves it. Everyone knows what I think about Rico. He’s a huge player for us and a wonderful captain.”
The Fan Engagement Award is a new award for 2022/23 and takes elements of the previous EFL Family Club Award to provide recognition to a Club who can demonstrate how it specifically involves and liaises with supporters.
In competition with Lincoln City and Reading for the honour, Wanderers came out on top for its partnership with the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust and the collaborative work that has been delivered over the course of the 2022/23 season.
The formalising of the relationship between the club and the official voice of Wanderers’ fans was recognised for its ongoing positive results and its influence across club strategy and ideas, campaigns and capital projects including the ‘Pick Our Kits 2023/24’ initiative, the price reduction in season tickets, the development of the Fan Zone, the digital Supporter Survey and the improvement in disabled facilities across the stadium.
“It is an absolutely brilliant achievement for the club to win the Fan Engagement Award from the EFL," added Evatt.
“It speaks volumes for what Sharon and the Board have done; the culture she has created and the leadership qualities shown.
“For us to win that award from where we were a few years back speaks volumes for everything we try and do here.”
The Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust is the vehicle that represents all affiliate Wanderers’ supporter groups, including those based both domestically and internationally in places including Norway, Argentina, the USA and Australia.
Neil Hart, Chief Executive Officer of Bolton Wanderers, said: “It was a fantastic evening at the EFL Awards and we're incredibly proud to see the club recognised both on and off the pitch by the League.
“We extend our congratulations to Rico for the outstanding season he has had. We are all incredibly proud to have him as our captain.
“And it was amazing to win the Fan Engagement Award! To come out on top out of 72 clubs for such an important award is just fantastic. We’ve made great strides in this area and that is testament to everybody at the club.”