As part of our away fans series, we caught up with Jimmy – A Belgian fan, who loves the family feel Bolton brings and has just purchased his first season ticket…
Ian: How long have you been a Bolton fan for?
Jimmy: Since the League Cup semi-final in 2000, so that is about 18-19 years – that semi-final was my first game
Ian: What made you choose Bolton?
Jimmy: I met a Bolton fan who worked in Belgium and he took me to my first game which was enough to get me hooked.
Ian: You said to me before that you’re a season ticket holder. How long for?
Jimmy: Since this season, I felt the time was right to come over more often to watch Bolton
Ian: Do you get to every game?
Jimmy: I try to do as many home games as I can, but it depends on flight prices, sometimes they go to £250-300 while normally it is £30-40
Ian: big fluctuation there! What do you make of this season?
Jimmy:Yep, the main issue is the moment you book your flight.
About this season we started like a rocket and since then it went downhill, we’ve probably not got as much quality as most of the other Championship teams. We’re often are not helped by referee decisions – I still believe we can save ourselves but it will probably be nerve-racking till the last game, then again the buzz you get when you save yourself like we did last year is amazing.
Ian: I bet you’re hoping you don’t have to go through that again though?
Jimmy: Of course, but if it has to happen again I would be confident we can do it again.
Ian: Do you have a supporters club in Belgium?
Jimmy: No up until now I am the only one flying over that much, most Belgian fans go for the likes of United, Liverpool, City and other big names.
I don’t want that as to me they are plastic teams, because of there multi-billion owners nothing real about it. In Bolton, we are still a family club where I always feel very welcome. When players see me they always say ‘Hey Belgian boy how are you, how was your flight?’
Ian: That’s brilliant, yes outside the Premier League you get that kind of interaction, which makes the journey over worth it, especially after a win I bet?
Jimmy: After a win, it is even better but even after a loss players are most kind. Last year after the Forest game I had a jager drinking contest with David Wheater – which I lost.
Since the moment he won player of the year from the fans I often give him Belgian chocolates, which resulted in him giving me his match worn shirt. Such a friendship you can’t have with Premier League players
Ian: That is amazing, what are your thoughts on the suggested takeover?
Jimmy: Well I refuse to believe everything that is written in the press nor do I believe blindly what is written in the notes of the chairman. I have decent contact with a lot of people who, I believe more because then you can see whether they are lying or not.
But to return to the initial question, Ken said he lacks the funds to fully rebuild us, so I hope he does the good thing and sells us. I still believe we have our place in the Premier League. My only fear is that a foreign investor might try to ruin the family feeling that is within the club.
Ian: Jimmy, Thank you for your time mate