Sam Allardyce: 'I am an Adopted Boltonian'

  • July 26, 2018 | By Chris Mann
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Sam Allardyce has opened up on his decision to leave Notts County for Bolton in 1999, saying he had to 'be selfish' in order to further his career.

A relative novice in the management field at the time, Allardyce brought an end to a successful spell at Meadow Lane when he controversially stepped down just days before being appointed as the successor to Colin Todd at the Reebok Stadium.

Now a veteran of over 1,000 games in the dugout, including one in charge of the England national side, the 63-year-old says he simply couldn't turn down the chance of a return to the club that provided him with his first route into the game.

The following is an extract from the upcoming book, Record Breakers: The Inside Story of Notts County's Momentous 1997/98 Title Win, by Paul Smith, which is available on August 1, 2018.

"I think I had to be selfish for myself. There was a great affinity with the club and a great relationship that I had built. This opportunity came along where I had to be selfish for myself, and not feel anything other than the fact I have got to do it for me.

"I knew I would be criticised for leaving, but there were other circumstances I don't really want to go into that actually helped that decision to be made.

"The real decision was that this was a football club that gave me my career in football, gave me my dream, and gave me everything I wanted to achieve.

"Even though I'm not north-west or Bolton-born and bred, I am an adopted Boltonian. I arrived there at 15 and married a Bolton girl.

"The new stadium at Bolton - the Reebok Stadium - to walk in the middle of that and say, "I'm back where I always wanted to be." to try and take that club forward, that became the next challenge.

"All that I did at Limerick, Blackpool and Notts County, all that I'd learned down there in terms of finding the right solutions to problems when we were financially strapped - I think Bolton at that stage were £45m in the red, which doesn't actually seem a lot now but then that was a bankrupt football club really.

"I had the tools to manage all of that because of what I'd done at Limerick, Blackpool and Notts County. That apprenticeship stood me in good stead to move on."

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22 Southend United 35 19
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