Football is to be sure here in Great Britain as well the most popular sport and now during the Football European
Championship all newspapers are full with reports of every kind.
Bolton itself has a quite a long-standing football club - the Bolton Wanderers and the UK Open take place in its
complex of buildings in which you can as well find the De Vere hotel. Probably some of the players stay there.
It's already some time ago that the Bolton Wanderers could celebrate their 100. Birthday as the club was founded
already in 1874 by a reverend and teacher. First it was called FC Christ Church and was supported by the parish.
Three years later it got independent and from that time on gat the name Bolton Wanderers as the club first
couldn't find an own playing field.
In 1887 the club for the first time took part in the FA cup and immediately got a bad reputation as one of the
Bolton players taking part was eligible. So the match had to be repeated and was repeated again as both matches
ended with a draw. The match was started a fourth time and this time opponent Everton won. But this time it was
Everton who had two professional players in the team which was not allowed and Bolton got the win after all...
In 1888 the Bolton Wanderers were one of the 12 clubs to found the league.
During the next four decades Bolton three times reached the FA Cup final but it took till 1923 before they won it.
The final was the first match played in the famous old Wembley Stadium and one of Bolton's players scored on that
day the very first goal.
The golden years of the club were from 1935 to 1964. Over all those years the Bolton Wanderers played in Premier
League. From then on times grew more erratic. The club was relegated several times, in 1987 even to fourth league.
The club recovered and in 1995 returned into Premier League but was not playing really consistently good and often
threatened by relegation.
In 2002 only a hat trick by loaned player Fredi Bobic kept it in Premier League. 2005 was a good year and the
Wanderers secured themselves a UEFA Cup place. They managed that again in 2008 this time even beating clubs like
But then the debts grew and no sporting successes followed. It starts to look better financially now but once
again the season 2011/12 ended in relegation.
Originally the club had it's playing ground in Horwich but then one decided to build a new stadium a little bit
further away from Bolton in 1997. It's called Reebok Stadium after the long year's main sponsor.
And with this we are back to the UK Open! The second evening brought several surprising results. All the amateurs
were out of the tournament after round three. More surprising so was that the reigning champion James Wade was
eliminated from the tournament by Colin Lloyd. It was a rather close match in the beginning but after Wade had
managed to draw 5:5 with two high finishes he had run totally out of steam and Colin Lloyd won the last four
legs of the match. Phil Taylor really had to fight in his first match to survive Roland Scholten's strong
performance. Mark Webster was surprisingly eliminated by Robert Thornton who hadn't shown much recently.
Arron Monk won against Kevin Painter and Peter Wright defeated John Part who at the moment just needs too many
darts to finish his legs. Raymond van Barneveld had no problem at all to overcome fellow country man Jelle Klaasen.
Impressive were Terry Jenkins, Kim Huybrechts and Simon Whitlock. Michael van Gerwen, Dennis Priestley and played
convincingly. Gary Anderson threw in the first match on the main stage his first televised nine-darter ever and
even managed to win the match.
And Denis Ovens who had qualified as 96 in the UK Open Order of Merit with price money of 600 pound still was in
Watching all those great matches I had almost forgotten the horrible weather outside. Though only as long till I
started my way back to the hotel. Luckily at least the wind was not as strong any longer. What a pity the weather
is as bad as at the weekend in near Manchester "Manchester Day" will take place a three day city festival with a
parade. Hopefully it will not fall through...