Classic Old Sports Grounds: No2 Burnden Park, Bolton

Well, it’s over two years since I posted No1 in this series and I thought it was high time I posted another.

Burnden Park

I moved to Bolton in September 1983 to attend BIHE as it was then. I travelled from Elsecar by train with Phil Millward who was going to Preston Poly. As we approached Bolton, I caught my first sight of the lights at Burden Park, home of Bolton Wanderers FC, and what a fine set of floodlights they were. Being a lover of football grounds I was soon off to a game. A night match when the then 3rd Division Wanderers took on the might of Nottingham Forest. My house mate Chris Meads was a Forest fan. Despite being a committed Wednesdayite, I soon settled in to regular trips to Burnden Park to feed my football addiction. I settled for most games on the magnificent Burnden Terrace in the paddock below the stand, always towards the Great Lever End.

Burnden Stand

Even for 3rd Division games the atmosphere was electric. My hero at the time was Gerry McElhinney a real rugged Centre Forward who had also played Gaelic Football for Derry in the 1970s.

BWFC Programme

Such was Bolton’s following at home a lot of teams were intimidated by playing here. By the time I started attending games the vast Railway Terrace was cut in half by the Normid Co-op but could still generate an atmosphere for big games. I remember standing here in 1987 for the JPS Trophy Rugby League final.

Here Bolton Wanderers hold Liverpool 2-2 at home in the FA Cup, they went on to win the replay 0-2 at Anfield.

A classic ground and much missed.

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One response to “Classic Old Sports Grounds: No2 Burnden Park, Bolton

  1. Dick Jones

    I went to Burnden Park for a mid week cup game against LCFC many moons ago. I remember craning my neck to see the pitch around the supermarket, and standing there no roof, no roof on the bogs and it sleeting and snowing for the whole game Brrr. A quarter of a mile from the ground we pulled into a pub for a warm before we set off home and ended up having a lock in. Good job we had our designated driver !!

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