Lawrie Wilson enjoyed plenty of ups and downs in his time with Bolton Wanderers, in his two-year spell at the University of Bolton Stadium.
The full-back signed for the club in 2015 from Charlton Athletic, and went on to make 39 appearances in total for the Trotters, whose club’s supporters had to endure a tricky period in their history.
Wilson played his part in the club’s promotion-winning season in 2016/17 season under the management of Phil Parkinson, before leaving the club in the summer of 2017, after not being offered a new contract with the Trotters.
Speaking exclusively to Football League World’s Jacob Potter, Wilson issued an insight into working for Parkinson, and revealed that he spent a considerable amount of time focusing on the defenders, which is something that the full-back enjoyed.
Wilson also went on to admit that Bolton were the ‘biggest club in the league’ at the time of Parkinson’s tenure, and felt as though there was a ‘fear factor’ for teams playing at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“You know what you’re going to get with him. He lays it out so clearly and precise that there are no grey areas. As a player, he spends a lot of time on the defenders. At football clubs, they often show videos of the attackers when they’re attacking, and it’s very rare that you ever see yourself defending!
“Something that we always used to do as a five or six of us was always go into a room the day before a game and it would just be the defenders and we would go through things, which always made it quite nice. It was our group, and it was all about keeping clean-sheets. When you’re talking about clean-sheets when strikers are in the room, they couldn’t care less! We were a very good team that season.
“It probably helped that we were the biggest club in that league at the time. There was that fear factor that our home games were like a fortress at the time, because we were doing well, where some big clubs can be toxic when you aren’t playing well. In those instances, the opposition will think ‘we can get on top of them’, then the crowd will turn because there is such a big crowd in home support.
“But because we were doing so well, any team that turned up were actually overwhelmed by how much support we had from the crowd at the time.”
The 33-year-old praised the Bolton supporters for their impact in his time with the club, and was thankful at being given the opportunity to play his part in the club’s promotion back into the Championship at the time, with the club having their fair share of problems off-the-field whilst under the ownership of Ken Anderson, who has since departed.
“When you’ve got supporters of clubs through thick and thin with their respective club, they’ve gone through everything, the ups and the downs. I’ve only got admiration for those sorts of supporters and to obviously see a club like Bolton that were in the Premier League for so many years, and then suddenly drop out and drop down again.
“I was just so thankful that I was part of that team that was able to give the supporters back something and a bit of joy because after having two or three seasons of loss after loss, relegation battles, to suddenly have a season of success, you can only smile at how much it brought to them, and it didn’t matter what league they were in.”
Did these things happen to Bolton Wanderers in 2020?
Wilson admitted that he’s a player that is ‘not amazing on the eye’, before insisting that he would always give his all for the shirt, which he felt as though saw him gain support from the club’s fans slowly but surely.
“It was purely the fact that they enjoyed seeing their club win. Every club that I’ve been at, including Charlton and Bolton, I’ve always had to win over fans, because I’m not the most skilful of players, I’m not amazing on the eye, but what people gradually find out about me is that I will give everything I’ve got every single game, I won’t stop running.
“That is my game, and they appreciate that after a while. It’s nice that after a while you start at a new club when people aren’t sure about you, that after a month they start to realise that I might not be this 9/10 every week player, but I become reliable and that’s what they liked. They like to know that someone is reliable and consistent and then you change their opinions on you.
“Then by the end of it, you have so much support and you realise how much they did like you, purely through being who you are and trying your hardest.”
Wilson is currently with Vanarama National League side Billericay Town, who have had this year’s league campaign curtailed early due to the current off-the-field situation.
Bolton will be looking to looking to build on some impressive performances since the turn of the New Year when they return to action on Tuesday evening against promotion-chasing rivals Cambridge United.