Bolton Wanderers 2001 promotion heroes: Where are they now?

Colin Hendry

With Bolton Wanderers on the brink of promotion to the Championship, we catch up with their 2000/1 play-off winning side.

Bolton Wanderers last tasted promotion back in 2001 courtesy of a 3-0 play-off final victory over Preston North End.

With the Trotters on the verge of a Championship return, let’s catch up with Sam Allardyce’s XI from this day at the Millennium Stadium:

On-loan goalkeeper Matt Clarke had his career curtailed by a persistent knee injury. The former Bradford City man spent three years with Crystal Palace before retiring in 2004. He now works in construction.

Anthony Barness, who was released by Allardyce in 2005, has a ceramic tiling business in Brighton. The defender played for Plymouth Argyle and non-league side Lewes during his post-Bolton career.

Gudni Bergsson recently succeeded Geir Thorsteinsson as the President of Iceland’s Football Association. The defender, capped 80 times by his country, hung up his boots in 2003 after racking up over 250 appearances for the Trotters in an eight-year spell with the club. He has also worked as a lawyer.

Another member of this side to move into law is Gareth Farrelly. The 41-year-old overcame a life-threatening illness in 2008 and is currently a trainee solicitor at Peters & Peters. Farrelly, scorer of the opening goal in the play-off final, is an expert in sports law with experience as a member on the FA judicial panel.

Colin Hendry, Per Frandsen and Kevin Nolan are among those who have transitioned into management.

Blackburn Rovers’ favourite Hendry returned to Ewood Park for a two-year stint as a coach following brief stints in charge of Blackpool and Clyde. Hendry recently played in Fernando Ricksen’s charity match, alongside fellow Rangers legends Barry Ferguson and Nacho Novo, to raise money for his motor neurone disease foundation.

Frandsen spent time in charge of Danish club Akademisk Boldklub. The towering midfielder was sacked in December following a poor run of results.

Notts County have reaped the benefits of appointing Kevin Nolan as their player-manager. The Bolton favourite steered the Magpies clear of the League Two relegation zone after taking over from John Sheridan in January.

Simon Charlton brought his career to a close as player-manager of non-league side Mildenhall Town. The fullback is an advisor for production company Fruition and head of academy at Go-Pro Sports. Charlton has also done work for BBC Radio Manchester as a co-commentator on Wanderers’ games.

Ricardo Gardner, Mike Whitlow and Bo Hansen have also taken up coaching roles.

Long-serving Bolton Wanderers hero, Gardner, is keeping very busy. He manages Jamaica’s under-20s side and has been named part of the CONCACF Player Ambassador Program - along with former Wigan Athletic striker Jason Roberts. Too add to this, Gardner has ventured into music as the CEO of Heart of Love Music Production.

Hansen retired with FC Midtylland in 2004. The Dane spent time as a coach for Holsterbro BK.

Whitlow, who came on as a late substitute in the final, is an under-21s coach for Mansfield Town. The former Leicester City man has worked with Derby County’s and Burton Albion’s academies in the past.

The man Whitlow replaced in the final, Dean Holdsworth, sold his shares in Bolton to Ken Anderson last month. Holdsworth had been part of the consortium which bought the club in 2016.

Left-back Robbie Elliot spent time as the United States' Youth National Team Performance Expert before moving into a role in the Nike Sports Research Lab.

Meanwhile, Michael Ricketts advises clients on football related matters in his role as a director for Pinnacle. Their clients include Premier League stars Troy Deeney, Jesse Lingard and Tom Cleverly.

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