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Club Connections – Bolton

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Of course on Saturday, Manchester United face Owen Coyle’s Bolton at the Reebok, looking to make it 4 wins out of 4 in the Premier League so far. With that in mind it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have both spent time at United and Bolton in their careers in the game.

Peter Barnes

The son of Manchester City legend Ken, Peter enjoyed a successful start to his career and scored at Wembley as City won the 1976 League Cup at Wembley in a 2-1 win over Newcastle United. His career never quite reached the heights that his talent suggested he would sadly.

After leaving City, Peter’s form dropped and after having a month on-loan at United from Leeds under Ron Atkinson in 1984, in which he never played a game joined United in 1985. Despite enjoying a great start to his first season, his form slipped again and he was sold back to City by Sir Alex Ferguson. He later enjoyed short (loan and permanent) spells with Bolton.

Peter Beardsley 

There are not too many players who have played for both Merseyside and Manchester clubs but Beardsley is one of them. It’s easy to forget that arguably one of the best wingers in the 1980’s played just the once for United under Ron Atkinson in a League Cup tie in 1982.

Signed from Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps, his spell at Old Trafford was short and he returned back to Vancouver. After that the rest is history as Peter signed for Newcastle United in 1983 before becoming a household name at Liverpool and Everton before returning back to St James’s Park. He had a short spell with Bolton in 1997 in the twilight of his career.

Chris Eagles

Highly talented as a youngster at Watford, there were high hopes that Eagles would soar at Old Trafford. Due to his skills on the ball and hairstyle he was unfairly compared to David Beckham and was unable to break into our team due to the competition involved at Old Trafford.

Despite spells out on loan where he impressed, Chris left United in 2008 to join Burnley but not before he scored an important goal away to Everton in the title-run in that clinched a crucial victory. At Burnley under Owen Coyle he impressed and it wasn’t a surprise in the summer when the Scot brought the winger to Bolton where he’s impressed early on.

Quinton Fortune

The club’s first (and so far only) South African player joined from Atletico Madrid in 1999, after the treble-winning season as a winger to cover for Ryan Giggs after Jesper Blomqvist had suffered injury problems early on in pre-season.

Whilst Quinton didn’t get too many chances to impress in his first three years at the club, he made some vital contributions in the 2002/03 season and impressed in midfield. He later made his name at left-back for United but was plagued by injury problems which impacted on his career at Bolton early on after he left Old Trafford in 2006.

Alan Gowling

Alan, one of a handful of graduates to have played for United enjoyed four steady seasons at the club and has a unique honour of playing both his first (where he scored) and last (as a sub for Bobby Charlton) games for the club against Stoke City in the old first division.

Despite having a decent record at Old Trafford, Gowling was sold to Huddersfield in 1972 at the age of 23. He enjoyed a successful time for Town before moving onto Newcastle United, who he scored for in their 1976 League Cup Final defeat to Manchester City. In 1978 he joined Bolton, whom he scored 28 goals for in 149 apps before retiring after a spell at Preston.

Ian Greaves

Breaking into the United team under Busby at right-back when Bill Foulkes got injured, Greaves made the position his own and won a League winner’s medal in 1956 on merit as he kept the experienced defender out of the side.

Sadly for Ian a knee injury suffered at the start of the 1960 season effectively finished his career and despite short stints with Lincoln and Oldham he retired in 1962. After retiring he began his coaching badges and after doing well at Huddersfield in his first job was a contender to replace Frank O’Farrall at United but lost out and went onto manage Bolton for six years..

Brian Kidd

Younger United fans may only know Kidd as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant during the 1990’s, but he’s much more than that. At the age of 18 he broke into the United team at the start of the historic 1967-68 season which ended in him scoring at Wembley in the side’s European Cup win.

Sadly after that historic night at the home of football, United’s side declined and Brian a decent forward, sadly didn’t develop to the standard that his potential suggested he would. He left and joined good spells at Arsenal and Manchester City before having a two-year stay at Bolton in the 1980’s. He is now Roberto Mancini’s assistant at City where he is warmly remembered too.

Willie Morgan

Being a winger at United at the same time at George Best must have put enormous pressure on Morgan, but the Scot who went on to make 296 appearances for United overcame the comparisons to Besty, to become one of the club’s most reliable players until his departure.

Despite having great dribbling skills and excellent ball control, Willie frustrated in the final-third too often with his passing and goal-scoring ability not being as great as it should have been. After leaving United he went back to his former club Burnley before joining their local rivals Bolton whom he played for four and a half years.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87