I’ve been a Bolton season ticket holder for the past 17 years, and have spent many a Saturday afternoon and weeknight listening to Jack Dearden’s commentary on our away games for BBC Radio Manchester. So I was delighted to have the chance to ask him about his hopes for the season and his career commentating on the Whites.
Q. What are you predicting for Bolton this season?
A. I think they’ll be okay and stay in the Championship, but I don’t expect it to be easy.
Q. Who is the best player you’ve seen in a Wanderers shirt?
A. I’ll go for Fernando Hierro. Class, quality – made it all look so easy. Plus he was the best defender in the world for about 5 years.
Q. Have you any funny stories from your many commentaries?
A. I’ve had lots of fun covering Wanderers games over the last 20 years; it’s been a pleasure and a privilege. Can’t really pin it down to just one moment.
Q. What has been your highlight of commentating on Bolton?
A. I’d probably go for the 5-0 away win at Leicester on the opening day of the Premier League season. An astonishing game, with an equally amazing result. So many others as well though.
Q. And your worst moment?
A. Play-off semi final defeat. Three penalties awarded to Ipswich; nine players booked; two sent off…And a long drive home…The end.
Q. Have you any memories from Burnden Park?
A. Lots, notably the last game against Charlton a win, and an emotional night. I liked Burnden Park…
Q. What do you make of our new signings?
A. Given the restrictions Bolton are currently operating under it’s hard to imagine how it could have been better.
Q. In your opinion, who is the strongest team in the Championship?
A. Got a sneaky feeling Nottingham Forest could be set for a decent season.
Q. Does a good co-commentator make your job easier? I always liked you with Alan Gowling.
A. Alan Gowling did around 11 seasons with me as the Wanderers summariser and we had an absolute ball. In the Premier League, Europe, League Cup Final, FA Cup semi Final. What was there not to like? Alan was brilliant to work with, we had a really good rapport, and relationship, on and off the field.
Q. Which of our previous players and managers have you enjoyed interviewing the most?
A. Big Sam was always good value, and to be fair I never really had any problems with any of the managers. In fact I’m glad to say they were all pretty decent guys, but different in their own way.
Players – plenty of good ones as well: Super John, Kevin Davies, Phil Brown. The list is endless. I could go on and on and on…
Q. Were you surprised by the attention your orange bag attracted and did you know it has its own Twitter account?
A. I didn’t know it had its own Twitter account, but the Big Orange Bag did attract quite a bit of comment. To be honest I’ve never seen a bag that colour before or since. Definitely a fun bag….
Q. And finally, would you be tempted to show off your footwork on Strictly Come Dancing? (Big Sam has told me in a previous interview he would!)
A. Without doubt when the call comes from Strictly I’ll accept. I’m a brilliant dancer… And my wife say’s she’d pay good money to see it! Bring it on…
We’d like to thank Jack for taking the time to share his thoughts. You can follow Jack on Twitter @TheJackDearden
By Jen Ward