This season Prostate Cancer UK is the official charity of The
Football League. To celebrate, we've asked bloggers from each of
the 72 clubs to count down their top five strikers to have worn the
No9 shirt, in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer
affects one in nine men.
Blake's progress: Despite his slow start, Nathan Blake is a club legend. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Here blogger Richard McCormick, from bwfcforum.co.uk, selects
Bolton's five best No9s… and one to forget!
5. Gary Jones (1968-75)
Jones had an ordinary career, apart from one magical night in the
1970s. Down on their luck and newly relegated to the old Third
Division, Bolton faced league-title contenders Manchester City in
front of 42,000 fans at Burnden Park. City were thrashed 3-0, with
Jones scoring a hat-trick. While he never attained such heights
again, for those present the memory lives on.
4. Roy Greaves (1965-80)
An odd choice to wear a No9 shirt, Greaves was more of a
midfielder. He was also one of the game's hard men, working
tirelessly and never complaining when, as often occurred, he came
under fire from the supporters. Towards the end of his time with
Bolton his contribution became more widely recognised, and these
days he is a respected figure.
3. Nathan Blake (1995-98)
Blake started slowly after joining from Sheffield United, and
Bolton were relegated. He made up for it the next season, netting
25 goals during a spectacular promotion, then scoring on 14
occasions in the Premier League. The latter wasn't enough to avert
another relegation, however, and he left for Blackburn, securing
the Wanderers a tidy profit.
2. Joe Smith (1908-27)
The figures say it all. They have to: there'll be few Wanderers
fans still alive who saw Smith play. Holder of the club record for
number of goals scored in a season, he bagged 243 in all, putting
him 10th in the list of England's top-flight goal scorers. The one
black mark? Well, orange, to be precise: he managed Blackpool when
they beat Bolton in the 1953 FA Cup final.
1. Nat Lofthouse (1944-56)
"I could run a bit, shoot a bit and head a bit," said Lofthouse in
retrospect. As ever, it was an endearingly modest self-appraisal.
Bolton's favourite son found the net for his hometown club on 255
occasions, and set a goals-per-game record for England (30 in 33)
that probably won't be bettered. On Nat's death in 2011, tributes
poured in from around the world and thousands attended his funeral.
It was entirely fitting; Nat Lofthouse was a fine footballer, but
an even finer human being.
And the worst…
Johan Elmander (2008-11)
Elmander was good with either foot, capable of sublime skill and
had an acute sense of what was going on around him. Unfortunately,
he was signed by Gary Megson, who is to man-management what Julian
Clary is to cage-fighting. Two unproductive years followed, plus
half a season of quality after the Ginger One had departed. The
Swede then went into sulk mode after his contract demands weren't
met and left for nothing, having cost £8.2m. Value for money he
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