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28 October 2014

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You are in: Manchester > Sport > Bolton Wanderers > Happy birthday Bolton

The Reebok Stadium

The Reebok Stadium

Happy birthday Bolton

It’s hard to believe it but it’s a decade since Bolton left Burnden Park for the sparkly new Reebok Stadium. In honour of the club’s tenth anniversary at the stadium, here’s ten things you may not know about it:

- The stadium was officially opened on Monday 1 September for the meeting of Bolton with Everton. However, it was another 22 days until the ground saw its first home goal – Alan Thompson’s penalty in a 1-1 draw against Tottenham.

Opening day in 1997

Opening day in 1997

- The first away goal was scored by Spurs’ Chris Armstrong, who would later find himself on Wanderers’ books, though he never played for Bolton at the Reebok.

- The stadium didn’t actually see a conventional victory for the whole of its first month. While Bolton did beat Leyton Orient on penalties in September, it wasn’t until October 4 that a game was won in normal time – unfortunately it was the visitors, Aston Villa, who were victorious on the day.

The Reebok Stadium

The Reebok Stadium

- The ground played host to the first victory by an English Super League side in the rugby league World Club Challenge, when St Helens beat Brisbane Broncos in January 2001.

- The ground’s official capacity is 28,723. The highest ever attendance is 28,353. Oddly, that wasn’t recorded against local rivals Manchester United, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers or Manchester City, but against Leicester City on 28 December 2003 (it’s a massive 41,559 less people than made up the biggest crowd recorded at Burnden Park).

- Uniquely for a Premiership side, when it’s time to take to the pitch, the teams emerge from separate tunnels at either side of the halfway line.

Coldplay at Bolton in the Fix You promo

Coldplay at Bolton in the Fix You promo

- The Reebok has also hosted music concerts by the likes of Elton John, Oasis and Coldplay. It actually appears at the end of the video for Coldplay’s Fix You, with singer Chris Martin running out onto the stage for the final chorus. Interestingly, the band played the song twice on the night, in order to get all the footage they needed.

- The first non-English side to play competitively at the stadium were Lokomotiv Plovdiv, who faced Bolton in the Wanderers’ debut in European competition on 15 September 2005. Despite falling behind, Bolton won the game 2-1.

Amir Khan meets the Bolton fans

Amir Khan meets the Bolton fans

- The stadium was host to boxer Amir Khan’s first ever professional fight. Khan is an avid Bolton fan and was inspired enough by his surroundings to knockout his opponent, David Bailey, in the first round.

- Bolton’s tenth anniversary game will be against Everton, who were the first team to face the Wanderers in the new stadium, ten years ago. Bizarrely, the Toffees were also Bolton’s opponents when they played their first game at Burnden Park in 1895.

last updated: 31/08/07

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