Day 36

I was sorry to have to leave the Bellingham Hotel after a very happy short stay. Victoria (photo below on steps) gets my vote as the best hotel manager I have met on the tour to date. Friendly, professional and with a genuine interest in all her guests. Definitely recommend the Bellingham to anybody in the Wigan area. I can understand why BNI Achievers are still happy there after many years of holding their meetings there.

Then it was a short cycle ride to Bolton and the magnificent new Reebok Stadium. Superb, incredible hospitality by Bolton Wanderers Football Club. Some clubs really “get” what Bjørn and I do ….. and others don’t. Bolton Wanderers really did! I was firstly greeted by Mark Alderton their Communications Director and then interviewed by him and presented to Lofty the Lion the official club mascot. Talk inevitably turned to the Bolton legends and I chipped in with Frank Worthington who is famous for “that goal”. My friend Ann Brown brought him to Spain recently and you can see a video of Frank here. Frank is as much a character off the field as he was on it. Listen to why he did not sign for Liverpool!!

After that I enjoyed a full two hours tour of the impressive Reebok stadium with official guide Dave Vickers (below). Now, I think I know “something” about football and I think I know a few people who know “something” about particular clubs. Well, we pale into insignificance to Dave. His knowledge of all things Bolton Wanderers is encyclopedic. He gets the facts over in a fascinating and easily-understood manner and on top of that he is quite simply a thoroughly nice guy. What he does he does with PASSION. He quite clearly loves his role at the club and his enthusiasm for The Wanderers and the Beautiful Game transmits to all who hear him. It was a great afternoon and a true pleasure to meet Dave. Sadly, I had to leave but I leave with very fond memories of BWFC and Dave. Mark and Dave were true ambassadors for the club and I know that I will take more than a passing interest in their results from now onwards. A huge thanks to Jennie Kozlowski for organising the day especially as she was on holiday in Cyprus! A true pro who I was sorry to have missed.

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