Mention Bolton Wanderers to me and it always brings back a very happy memory.
My one and only hat trick in the Premier League came against our friends from across the Pennines.
I had been out for a couple of months after a knee operation and Peter Atherton, our club captain at Sheffield Wednesday at the time, had also been sidelined at the same time.
The week before the Bolton game, we were beaten heavily by Manchester United and it was enough for David Pleat to get the sack. He hadn’t had a full-strength squad to select from and results had not been good, so the board stepped in.
Peter Shreeves took over as caretaker boss and, the following week at Hillsborough, he was able to select me, Atherton and a couple of others who had got back to fitness for the match against Bolton.
It was incredible, but after 40 minutes we were 5-0 up and I’d got a hat trick. And it was the perfect hat trick too – one with the left foot, one with the right and the other with my head.
Remembering it now it always brings a smile on my face and I always wonder if David Pleat had been given that little bit longer, would he have been able to turn things around with more players fit and ready at his disposal?
As it was, Ron Atkinson took over the next week and we played Arsenal in the Cup. We won that game as well, 2-0, and I managed to score against David Seaman.
It was a great little spell for us and, obviously, was memorable for me, especially with the hat trick against Bolton.
They’ve not had the best of starts to this season but, now they have Neil Lennon at the helm, they will be looking to climb up the standings.
That will make them a tough proposition when we travel over there at the weekend and, to be fair, I wouldn’t expect Bolton to be down near the bottom come the end of the season.
They are a club who, despite racking up big debts, will expect to be back in the Premier League in the not too distant future, but it just shows what a difficult division the Championship is when clubs like them are struggling to make an impact.
Clubs that come down have to adapt and it’s not always that easy. Just look at Wolves. They went straight down again before coming back up last season, and we know from our own struggles over the last decade that it’s not straight forward to get back up.
I know our lads will be looking forward to taking on Bolton and I would expect it to be a cracking Roses derby.