Wilbraham Blasts Phil Parkinson Over Bolton Departure

  • November 21, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/f1c46

Aaron Wilbraham has revealed he was prepared to remain at Bolton, only to be left hanging by Phil Parkinson and the club's former owner - Ken Anderson.

Wilbraham was much maligned by supporters during his solitary season with Wanderers, for whom he scored just twice in 27 appearances - of which only seven came from a starting position.

His status would go from zero to cult hero on May 6, 2018, however, when not only did he complete 90 minutes in league competition for the only time in a white shirt, but he also marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal as the Trotters retained their Championship status in the dying minutes with a 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest at Macron Stadium.

The then 38-year-old had often been overlooked but after ending that campaign on a high and receiving the public backing of his manager, Wilbraham admits he was prepared to stay and was left 'devastated' when he discovered the offer of a new contract would not be forthcoming.

"They'd put it in the papers that seven or eight had been released and I was thinking 'surely I'm going to get something here after scoring that goal'," Wilbraham told the Under The Cosh Podcast.

"Phil Parkinson was saying 'you've saved everyone's job' and everyone was saying 'is he getting another year then, gaffer?'. He said 'it's already being spoken about in there' because Ken Anderson was all buzzing.

"So I was expecting it and then they left it until June 7 - that's late to let you know if they're not going to - and the other lads who'd been released had been told around May 15.

"I'm saying to the Mrs, 'they'll give me another year and they may try to reduce my money, but I'm telling you they'll give me another year'.

"I met Phil Parkinson and when I walked in he said, 'Alby, I've been ringing Ken Anderson for the last six weeks. He's on a boat in Monaco ignoring my calls, so I think it's best I just say thanks for everything and all the best'.

"He just went to shake my hand and I was like, 'is that it gaffer, they're not offering me anything?'. And he said, 'I can't get hold of him and what he is telling me to offer you, I don't want to embarrass you. He's telling me to give you £500 a week'.

"I didn't feel like he'd fought my corner at all. He asked what I meant and I said, 'you've told me I scored the goal to save everyone's jobs. If I was you and I had a player who you'd bombed all season, not given a sniff and then put all the pressure on in that last game to do something and I've done it, then you just turn up and shake my hand'.

"I was fuming. I sat in my car for about 45 minutes and Ben Alnwick was the first person to ring me. He asked what had happened and I told him. All the lads were fuming and I couldn't believe it.

"I rang my Mrs and told her I'd not been offered anything. I was devastated. It left me a bit bitter but, in a way, I knew I'd left in a good way."

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
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