Our collection of retro Bolton Wanderers Vintage images picks up from the early 1950s in what was a good decade for the club in the FA Cup, its favourite competition. A Stanley Mathews-inspired Blackpool edged them out in 1953, but Bolton were back at Wembley five years later, this time to face Manchester United. The club’s greatest-ever player, Nat Lofthouse, scored both goals in Bolton’s 2-0 win and the trophy went to Burnden Park for the fourth time in the club’s history.
In common with Blackpool and other former pre-war giants from the north west of England, subsequent decades proved to be a lot less kind to Bolton. Relegation to Division 2 followed in 1964 and by 1971 Wanderers had plunged to the third division for the first time in their history. In 1977 – the final year we take in here – the club was thriving back in the second division and preparing for the successful promotion push that would lead them back to the top flight in 1978 after a 14-year absence.