Where Are They Now? 20 Years On - Bolton 4-3 Reading

  • May 29, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/5918d

20 years ago, Bolton staged a remarkable comeback to beat Reading in the Division One play-off final and secure promotion to the Premier League.

Trailing to early goals from Lee Nogan and Adrian Williams, Wanderers were fortunate to go in 2-0 down at the break after Keith Branagan saved a Stuart Lovell penalty that would surely have put the game beyond any doubt.

Instead, second-half goals from Owen Coyle (75) and Fabian de Freitas (86) took the tie into extra-time, during which further goals from Mixu Paatelainan and a second from de Freitas moved the Trotters back into the top-tier for the first time in 15 years.

Jimmy Quinn set-up a tense finale by making the score 4-3 in the final minute of the extra 30, but Bruce Rioch celebrated his 2nd anniversary in charge with victory that put Bolton back amongst the elite of English football.

20 years on from that unforgettable afternoon at Wembley Stadium, we take a look at what each player involved that day now does for a living.

Keith Branagan

Highly regarded as the man whose penalty save went a long way towards putting Bolton in the Premier League, Branagan departed Wanderers in 2000 and was forced into retirement two years later after losing a nine-month battle against a shoulder injury during his time at Ipswich Town.

Branagan, now aged 48, has since taken up coaching roles within the academy at Macron Stadium, as well as performing a similar role at Bolton School. The former Republic of Ireland international also acts as a pundit for BBC Radio Manchester and Tower FM on an infrequent basis.

Scott Green

A £50,000 signing in 1990, Green went on to have seven successful years at Burnden Park before going on represent Wigan Athletic, Wrexham and Telford United, before moving back to Wrexham for a second spell that proved to be the final year of his playing career.

After a four-year exile from the game, Green took up a role within the Yeovil Town academy in 2009 and held a major role within their Centre of Excellence until its closure in 2012.

Jimmy Phillips

A product of the Wanderers academy, Phillips enjoyed two spells with the club he supported as a boy - from 1983 to 1987 and 1993 to 2001, respectively.

Spells at Glasgow Rangers, Oxford United and Middlesbrough were sandwiched between those years, and Phillips now holds the role of Academy Director at Macron Stadium. He also took charge of three games during a stint as caretaker manager in 2012, following the club's decision to sack Owen Coyle.

Gudni Bergsson

Fondly remembered as one of the greatest imports in the club's long and famous history, Bergsson joined Bolton in a £65,000 transfer from Tottenham Hotspur in 1995.

Bergsson, who turns 50 later this year, went on to score 26 goals in 317 appearances for Wanderers.

Since retiring from the game in 2003, the former Iceland and Bolton captain has been appointed president of the former players association, acts as a part-time scout, as well as earning a living as a certified lawyer.

Alan Stubbs

Another product of the Trotters' academy, Stubbs made more than 250 senior appearances before completing a controversial transfer to Celtic in 1996.

He later went on to play for Everton, Sunderland and Derby County, before a successful coaching spell at Goodison Park led to him becoming manager of Scottish club Hibernian.

Neil McDonald

A broken ankle restricted McDonald to just six appearances during his 12-month stay at Bolton, but his name is well remembered amongst supporters after he returned to become a part of Sam Allardyce's backroom staff in 2000.

After earning completing his UEFA Pro Licence during his time at the Reebok Stadium, McDonald left to become assistant manager at Crystal Palace in 2005, before taking over as boss of Carlisle United a year later.

A brief spell in charge of Swedish outfit Ostersunds FK was to follow, before he stepped back into coaching with roles at Lincoln City and Leeds United. Since 2008, he has been reunited with Allardyce at both Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, but is currently searching for a new role as his contract with the Hammers comes to an end next month.

Jason McAteer

Having joined from non-league team Marine, McAteer made his Wanderers debut in 1992 and remained at the club for three years, until the temptation of a £4.5million move to Liverpool proved too difficult to resist.

McAteer enjoyed a successful four-year spell at Anfield, before going on to play for Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and Tranmere Rovers prior to announcing his retirement in 2007.

The 43-year-old now appears regularly as a television pundit and match analyst for Liverpool's in-house channel - LFC TV - as well as BT Sport.

Mixu Paatelainen

Paatelainen was on the scoresheet at Wembley Stadium, putting Wanderers 3-2 up in extra-time, and his achievements ensured he became the first Finn to play in the Premier League.

Largely restricted to substitute appearances during his time at Burnden Park, where he scored 18 goals in 83 appearances, Paatelainen would go on to have an unsuccessful spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers, before spending most of his remaining years as a professional playing in Scotland.

Since hanging up his boots, Paatelainen has taken charge of Cowdenbeath, Turun Palloseura, Hibernian, Kilmarnock and is currently manager of his country - Finland.

Alan Thompson

A product of the Newcastle United academy, Thompson failed to make the grade at St James' Park prior to joining Bolton in 1993.

During a five-year spell with Wanderers, during which he helped the club to two promotions, 'Tommo' netted 42 goals in 198 appearances for the club and also boasts a record of having scored in the final game at Burnden Park, as well as netting the first goal at the Reebok Stadium.

After seeing out his playing career with Aston Villa, Celtic, Leeds United and Hartlepool United, Thompson moved full circle by joining the coaching staff at Newcastle's academy in 2008.

He has since held roles at Celtic, Birmingham City and was most recently in the position of assistant manager at Blackpool, from which he resigned earlier this month.

Owen Coyle

Like the aforementioned Paatelainen, Coyle was also on the scoresheet 20 years ago as he earned himself cult hero status during a two-year spell that saw him score 23 goals in 78 appearances for the Trotters.

Coyle departed Wanderers shortly after their promotion to the Premier League and never returned to the English game as a player, but has since managed three separate North West clubs - with a near three-year reign at Bolton sandwiched between spells at Burnley and Wigan Athletic.

Since December 2014, the 48-year-old has held the role of head coach at MLS side Houston Dynamo.

John McGinlay

If ever there was a player who remained loyal to his former employers, McGinlay would certainly be up near the top of the list when it comes to Bolton Wanderers.

Plucked from Millwall in 1992, 'Super John' went on to score 118 goals in 245 appearances during a stunning five-year spell with the Trotters and is in the history books as the final ever goalscorer at Burnden Park.

Since retiring for the second time in 2006, McGinlay has held coaching positions in the USA and also at Wigan Athletic. He is currently the owner of the Old Original Bay Horse, in Horwich, as well as a regular matchday analyst for BBC Radio Manchester.

Fabian de Freitas

The two-goal hero of the 1995 play-off final, de Freitas' exploits of that afternoon were the highlight of a disappointing spell which yielded just nine goals in 49 outings for Bolton.

He later went on to spend time with Osasuna, West Bromwich Albion, SC Cambuur, FC Den Bosch and NEC Nijmegan.

After leaving NEC in 2003, de Freitas studied engineering and has worked in the profession ever since. He recently returned to Macron Stadium as a half-time guest.

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