Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional football club based in Horwich, in the Borough of Bolton, England. They are currently in the Premier League.
Founder members of the Football League, Bolton were a successful cup side in the 1920s, winning the FA Cup three times. The club won the cup a fourth time in 1958 thanks to two Nat Lofthouse goals. A leaner spell followed, reaching a nadir in 1987 when the club spent a season in the Fourth Division. The club regained top-flight status in 1995 after a 15 year absence; their current spell in the top division started in 2001. In 2005–06 they participated in European competition for the first time, reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Cup. Bolton qualified for the 2007–08 tournament by finishing 7th in the 2006–07 Premier League season and this time they managed to reach the last 16 of the competition. Bolton Wanderers moved to the Reebok Stadium in 1997. Their former home was Burnden Park.
Bolton have spent the highest number of seasons in the top flight without winning the title (69, as of 2007-08)[
The club was founded by the Reverend John Farrall Wright in 1874 as Christ Church FC, but changed its name to Bolton Wanderers in 1877. Bolton were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, which formed in 1888. Having remained in the Football League since its formation, Bolton have spent more time in the top flight (Premier League/old First Division) than out of it.
Bolton won the celebrated 1923 F.A. Cup Final.In 1894 Bolton reached the final of football's oldest competition, the FA Cup, for the first time, but lost 4–1 to Notts County at Goodison Park. A decade later they were runners-up a second time, losing 1–0 to local rivals Manchester City at Crystal Palace on April 23, 1904. On April 28, 1923 Bolton won the cup at their third attempt to win their first major trophy, beating West Ham United 2–0 in the first ever Wembley final. The match, famously known as The White Horse Final was played in front of over 127,000 supporters. Bolton's centre-forward, David Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium. They became the most successful cup side of the twenties, also winning in 1926 and 1929, beating Manchester City and Portsmouth respectively.
From 1935 to 1964, Bolton enjoyed an uninterrupted stay in the top flight – regarded by fans as a golden era, spearheaded in the 1950s by Nat Lofthouse. They would not return to the top flight until 1978, where they lasted but two seasons before a period of further decline set in. In 1953 Bolton played in one of the most famous FA Cup finals of all time - The Stanley Matthews Final of 1953. Bolton lost the game to Blackpool 4-3 after throwing away a 3-1 lead. Blackpool were victorious thanks to the skills of Matthews and the goals of Stan Mortensen.
Bolton Wanderers have not won a major trophy since 1958, when two Lofthouse goals saw them overcome Manchester United in the FA Cup final in front of a 100,000 crowd at Wembley. The closest they have come to winning a major trophy since then is finishing runners-up in the League Cup, first in 1995 and again in 2004.
At the end of the 1986-87 season, Bolton Wanderers suffered relegation to the Fourth Division for the first time in their history. But the board kept faith in manager Phil Neal and they won promotion back to the Third Division at the first attempt. The deciding goal was scored by Robbie Savage in a thrilling 1-0 win at Wrexham. Wrexham missed a penalty in the opening 30 minutes and both teams squandered a succession of chances. Bolton's Robbie Savage hit the post from a free kick before the ref blew the final whistle. Neal remained in charge until the summer of 1992 when he made way for Bruce Rioch, who a few years earlier had won two successive promotions with Middlesbrough.
In the early part of Rioch's tenure, Bolton gained a giantkilling reputation in cup competitions. In 1993 Bolton beat FA Cup holders Liverpool 2-0 in a third round replay thanks to goals from John McGinlay and Andy Walker. The club also defeated higher division opposition in the form of Wolves (2-1) that year before bowing out to Derby County (4-0). In 1994 Bolton beat FA Cup holders Arsenal 3-1 in a fourth round replay, and went on to reach the Quarter Finals, bowing out 1-0 at home to local rivals (and then Premier League) Oldham Athletic. Bolton also defeated top division opposition in the form of Everton (1-0) and Aston Villa (3-1) that year.
 Recent history
Bolton reached the Premiership in 1995 under the management of Rioch, thanks to a victory over Reading in the Division One playoff final. Rioch left to take charge at Arsenal after the promotion success and was replaced by Roy McFarland, who was joined by his former assistant Colin Todd. Bolton were bottom for virtually all of the 1995–96 Premiership campaign and Bolton dismissed McFarland on New Year's Day 1996 and appointed Todd in his place. Todd was unable to save Bolton from relegation as they lost their penultimate game 4-1 to Manchester United, but the Bolton board kept faith in him. The Bolton board's loyalty in Todd was rewarded when they won promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt thanks to a season in which they achieved 98 league points and 100 goals in the process of securing the Division One Championship.
Bolton were relegated on goal difference at the end of the 1997–98 Premiership campaign. Bolton reached the 1999 Division One playoff final but lost 2-0 to Watford. Todd resigned as manager soon after and was replaced by Sam Allardyce. Bolton reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Worthington Cup and play-offs but lost to Aston Villa, Tranmere Rovers and Ipswich Town respectively. In 2000–01 Bolton were promoted back to the Premier League after beating Preston North End in the play-off final.
Bolton struggled in the following two seasons, but survived in the Premier League. The 2001/02 season began with a shock as they destroyed Leicester 5-0 at Filbert Street to go top of the table. They won their next two games, including a narrow victory over Liverpool, and were suddenly the Premiership's pace setters. Despite a memorable 2-1 win away at Manchester United, they went into an awful slump during the middle of the season and needed a Fredi Bobic hattrick against Ipswich Town to survive. 16th place was secured despite losing the final three games. The arrivals of experienced international players Bobic and Youri Djorkaeff proved vital, as did the emergence of Kevin Nolan and Michael Ricketts.
In the 2002-03 season Bolton made a poor start and, despite another win away at Manchester United, they were bottom until a vital and spectacular 4-2 win against Leeds at Elland Road. Despite suffering from a lack of consistency, Bolton ground out the results needed and secured survival in a final day 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough. The star of the season, Jay Jay Okocha, was another high profile signing and would go on to be a legend at the Reebok Stadium.
Bolton reached the League Cup final in 2004, but lost to Middlesbrough. Nevertheless, Bolton finished eighth in the league, at the time their highest finish in their Premiership history. In 2005 Bolton finished sixth in the league, thus earning qualification for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history. The following season, they reached the last 32 but were eliminated by French team Marseille as they lost 2-1 on aggragate. In April 2007, towards the end of 2006–07 season, manager Allardyce resigned. In his final four seasons at Bolton, Allardyce had recorded consecutive top ten finishes, a record of consistency bettered only by the big four of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Allardyce was replaced by his assistant Sammy Lee, who secured Bolton's qualification for the 2007–08 UEFA Cup. After gaining only one league win in eleven matches, Lee left Bolton in October 2007 and was replaced by Gary Megson.
Megson guided Bolton to survival with a 16th place finish, their safety being confirmed by the final day of the season, as they were unbeaten in their final five games, and broke Bolton's record transfer fee with the signing of Johan Elmander from Toulouse for 11 million pounds on the 27th of June 2008.
FA Cup Winners (4) - 1923, 1926, 1929, 1958
FA Cup Runners up (3) - 1894, 1904, 1953
League Cup Runners up (2) - 1995, 2004
FA Charity Shield (1) - 1958
Football League First Division Champions (1) - 1997
Football League Second Division Champions (2) - 1909, 1978
Football League First Division Play-Off Winners (2) - 1995, 2001
Football League Third Division Champions (1) - 1973
Football League Trophy Winners (1) - 1989
Football League Trophy Runners up (1) - 1986
Football League War Cup Winners (1) - 1945
Football League War Cup North Winners (1) - 1945
FA Premier League Asia Trophy Winners (1) - 2005
Peace Cup Runners up (1) - 2007
Lancashire Cup Winners (11) - 1886, 1891, 1912, 1922, 1925, 1927, 1932, 1934, 1948, 1988, 1990,
Central League Champions - 1955, 1995
Premier Reserve League North Champions - 2007
Colours and badge
Bolton Wanderers' home colours are white shirts with navy trim, worn with white shorts and socks. Their current away kit colours are black with turquoise trim. Bolton did not always wear the white kit they do today, in 1884 they wore white with red spots. Bolton's traditional colours are white shirts with navy blue shorts. The navy blue shorts were dispensed with in 2003. The club had tried an earlier experiment with an all white kit in the 1970s.
The Bolton Wanderers club badge consists of the initials of the club in the shape of a ball, with red and blue ribbons beneath. The ribbons controversially replaced the red rose of Lancashire following the club's move to the Reebok Stadium. The club's original badge was the town crest of Bolton.