Mixed reactions from Bolton Wanderers fans as club legend Nat Lofthouse memorabilia snapped up by council

By Ben Butler

The auction of Bolton Wanderer’s legend Nat Lofthouse’s sporting memorabilia has been met with a mixed reception from fans.

Last week, Bolton Council and a consortium of local organisations, bought £75,427 worth of memorabilia the former from England and Bolton Wanderers star.

The items included the footballer’s 1958 FA Cup winner’s medal which sold for £16,500 and a 1953 Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year trophy, fetching £10,000.

However, Trotters fans have taken to the social media and offered a variety of views on the auction.

One supporter, who has a number of pieces of Nat Lofthouse memorabilia and even a Bolton Wanderers room in his house, praised the council.

“I think it’s great that the town, NCP and others have purchased these items and that they will now go on display in the Museum,” he said on a forum.

“Nat was my hero when I was a kid and I look forward to visiting the museum to see these items on my next visit to Bolton.”

Another fan on ‘Wanderers Ways’ agreed: “Well done to the council for buying what they did.

“I think it’s much better the council have the stuff rather than the club.”

However, not all Trotters fans were so pleased with many calling for the club to secure the memorabilia.

“Still can’t believe the club never set up a place in the club shop for the stuff,” said one fan.

“Imagine the extra people they could have got in the doors who were potential customers.”

A contributor on ‘Burden Aces’ concurred and said: “My thoughts would be that the club should have bought the items and had them on display.

“If people knew that pieces like that were on view I’m sure there would be more interest in stadium tours for instance.”

But with the Trotters struggling in 17th position in the Championship this season, a fan on the club’s unofficial forum said: “Hope the club hasn’t bought any of it.

“We should be using the money on the playing squad not on stuff like this.”

There has also been criticism from Trotters fans for the Lofthouse family, who made the decision to allow the items to be sold at auction.

“You’d think they’d like to keep at least some mementoes of their father’s achievements”, said one fan on the unofficial Bolton fans forum.

Another fan on the same forum said:

“I find it tasteless that Nat’s children have opted for money over family heirlooms that should have been passed down.”

However, one fan did jump to the defence of the Lofthouse family, saying:

“Personally, I don’t quite know what the fuss is… it was their stuff (albeit inherited) and, while it might seem money grabbing to the rest of us, how many people can honestly say they’d donate possessions that they could get so much money for?”

Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Anthony Connell, said: “It’s clear that Nat Lofthouse was much loved by many people and his achievements are something that we are all proud of in Bolton.

“When the opportunity arose to buy the memorabilia at auction there was a great wealth of support from the public to try and keep some of that history in his hometown.”

Lofthouse, whose death two years ago led to a huge number of tributes across Bolton and the footballing world, made his name at the Trotters where he played more than 500 games, as well as securing 30 caps for England.

He scored a total of 255 league goals as well as 30 goals for England.

Image courtesy of BWFC via YouTube, with thanks

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