After last week’s look back at legendary Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, this week we remember a legend at the other end of the pitch, Super John McGinlay.
Bolton Wanderers have managed to score just 18 league goals this season. Their current top scorer in the Championship is Josh Magennis with a paltry four goals so far.
The Trotters haven’t had a prolific goalscorer in the team since Nicolas Anelka joined 13 years ago, or perhaps Daniel Sturridge in 2011.
However, long before then, John McGinlay was the man Bolton could turn to for a goal.
McGinlay’s Bolton career
McGinlay spent five years with Bolton from 1992 until 1997 and notched an impressive 101 goals for the club.
On average, he scored 20 goals a season, more than the entire current Bolton side have scored between them so far this season.
McGinlay joined the Trotters from Milwall in 1992 for a reported £125,000. What a bargain that would turn out to be.
In January 1993, Bolton – who were a third-tier team at the time – came up against Premier League side and FA Cup holders, Liverpool, in the third round of the FA Cup.
After a 2-2 draw at Burnden Park forced the tie to a replay, the match at Anfield has gone down in history as one of the biggest cup upsets in Bolton’s history.
The ‘White Hot’ match, as it became known, saw Bolton prevail in a 2-0 win over Liverpool with McGinlay getting on the score sheet and whipping in a delightful cross to earn an assist as Andy Walker headed home. You can watch the highlights of that game below.
One year later and Bolton were in giant-killing mood once again. In the fourth round this time, Bolton came up against the FA Cup holders once more in the form of Arsenal. Just like the previous year, Wanderers took the holders to a replay. Bolton went on to beat Arsenal 3-1 at Highbury, with McGinlay on the score sheet yet again.
Helping Bolton to three promotions and several cup upsets in his time with the Trotters earned McGinlay legendary status among the Wanderers faithful, who dubbed the Scottish striker ‘Super John McGinlay.’
McGinlay’s career after Bolton
McGinlay left Bolton in 1997 in a £625,000 move to Bradford. However, he only managed a handful of appearances in his one season at the Bantams before moving on again to Oldham Athletic.
McGinlay’s professional career ended in 2005/06 after a brief stint with Cincinnati Kings in the US.
However, McGinlay’s playing days weren’t over and done with just yet…
Even at the ripe old age of 52, John McGinlay went on to play in a Bolton shirt one last time. Super John was still in fine scoring form as he netted the first goal of 2016’s Bolton Legends match.
In recent times, McGinlay has worked with BBC Radio Manchester, commentating on Wanderers games with Jack Dearden. However, McGinlay has had his media privileges removed after criticising Bolton’s current owner, Ken Anderson.
His criticism of the ownership clearly comes from a deep love of the club and a desire to see Bolton succeed.
So, if anyone has the right to criticise Bolton or its ownership, then it’s Super John McGinlay.