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Five Royals who have been on the trot for Bolton

30 March 2016

Royals who have represented Bolton

This Saturday sees the end of the international break and Sky Bet Championship action resume as the Royals make the trip to the Macron Stadium to face Jimmy Phillips’ Bolton side.

Ahead of that fixture we take a look back to those select players who have pulled on both shirts during their careers.

The likes of Glen Little, Chris Armstrong, Andy Hughes, and Adam Le Fondre are just a few who haven’t made the selected profiles below. So here’s a look in further detail at five players to have played for both…   

Matthew Mills

Beginning his career with Southampton, Mills soon earned a move to Manchester City in 2006. He made his debut in the Premier League against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge before joining Doncaster Rovers on loan in search of regular first-team football. After winning promotion to the Championship via a play-off final victory over Leeds United, he joined the Keepmoat club on a permanent basis for a then-record Rovers fee. Travelling forward to 2009 and Brendan Rodgers lured the defender to Madejski Stadium; early on in Brian McDermott’s reign he was handed duty of captaining the side. Having made himself a stable cog in the Royals back four, he made 60 league starts and 11 more in the Cup, including scoring at Wembley Stadium in a play-off final against Swansea.  Leaving Reading for Leicester, Mills went on to make over 80 appearances for Bolton before becoming a Nottingham Forest player in July 2015 where he now captains the side, aged 29.  

John Salako

A midfielder by trade during his playing days, Salako is still seen at Madejski Stadium from time to time as a reporter for Sky Sports News. The former England international began his career with Steve Coppell’s Crystal Palace, and he played more than 250 games for the Eagles before a £1.5 million move brought him to Coventry City in 1995. A short spell with Kevin Keegan’s Fulham came before two years at Charlton, then the Royals secured his permanent signature following a loan spell at the Madejski at the start of the 2001/02 season. Salako opened his Royals account in his second Madejski Stadium game, and went on to find himself a regular under Alan Pardew, overall going on to make 101 starts in Royals colours, scoring 14 times from midfield before a switch to Brentford in 2004. He played for the Bees for the duration of the 2004/05 season before swapping football boots for a microphone to report on the beloved game as a correspondent for Sky.

Les Ferdinand

A great with Tottenham and Newcastle, Ferdinand started his career in non-league football with Southall before moving to Hayes. He then became a player for QPR where he made his debut at the age of 20, going on to score 20 goals in 37 games during the 1992/93 season as Rangers finished fifth in the Premier League, highest of all the London clubs that year. Moving on from Loftus Road he signed for Newcastle in 1995, and having scored 29 goals in his debut season, Ferdinand formed a formidable partnership with Alan Shearer and added to that tally with 50 goals in his 84 appearances for the Tyneside club. Having begun his playing days in the wrong hoops he ended it in the right ones by joining the Royals in 2005 after a 12 game spell with Bolton. The former England international was a big name signing for Reading, and although his goals couldn’t help Steve Coppell’s side to promotion that year, a player of his calibre was helping to put the Royals on the map.

Ali Al-Habsi

A mainstay with Wigan and current stopper for our Championship outfit, Al-Habsi began his footballing career in his native country before a three year spell with Norwegian side Lyn Oslo. Following that transfer he became the first Omani to play international football in Europe and was also voted as the ‘Norwegian Goalkeeper of the Year’ for 2004. Two years later and a move to England with Sam Allardyce’s Premier League Bolton came to hand, although he would have to wait just over a year to make his debut for the Trotters. Having a total of 16 appearances under his belt, including a UEFA Cup match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, he moved on loan to Wigan in July 2010 where he would become a regular between the sticks, going on to make over 150 starts for the Latics across a five-year spell. Having secured FA Cup glory in 2013, Al-Habsi joined the Royals at the start of the 2015/16 season, and has already won over many at Madejski Stadium with a number of outstanding performances.   

Danny Guthrie

A pass-master in the heart of midfield, Guthrie’s time with Bolton came during a loan calling with the Trotters for the duration of the 2007/08 season. He had been on the books with Manchester United before joining Liverpool, and spent a season at the Macron making 25 Premier League appearances during his stay away from Anfield. Newcastle then signed the Shropshire-born midfielder in July 2008, and he played a key part in earning the Magpies promotion back to the top flight ready for the 2010/11 season. 104 was the tally of appearances for Guthrie during his stay at St James’ Park, then in the summer of 2012 he joined Brian McDermott’s Premier League-bound side, scoring away against Chelsea in only his second appearance for the Royals. After three seasons at Madejski Stadium, Guthrie joined Fulham on loan for a period before singing a permanent deal with Blackburn at the start of the current Championship season.    

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