Bolton Wanderers Football Club was formed as Christ Church FC in 1874. In 1877 they changed their name to Bolton Wanderers, a name which referenced their inability to find a permanent home ground to play their matches in. The club was one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888.
The club's biggest period of success came between 1920 and 1964, during which they spent the vast majority of their time in England's top flight, including an uninterrupted spell from 1935 to 1964. Their first season in the Premier League came in 1995-96 season and in 1997 the club completed a move from their old stadium at Burnden Park to their current home. During the 21st century, Bolton Wanderers developed a reputation as giant killers, scoring upsets against teams like Manchester United and Arsenal. Under the management of Sam Allardyce, Bolton Wanderers mixed hard work and organisation with a scattering of flair and secured two successive top half finishes in 2004 and 2005.
The team won four FA Cup trophies during their golden era prior to relegation from the top flight in the mid 1960s. They added a Football League Trophy to their trophy cabinet in 1989 and although they have so far been unable to add to those honours, Bolton finished as League Cup runners up in both 1995 and 2004 when they lost a thriller to Middlesbrough Football Club.
Nat Lofthouse is the club's all time top goal scorer and generally regarded as their greatest ever player. The former England international spent his entire career with Bolton. Other legendary players include goalkeeper Eddie Hopkinson, striker John McGinlay, World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff and the skillful Jay Jay Okocha, who lit up the pitch with his tricks and flicks.
The team plays at the Reebok Stadium, a modern all-seater stadium, which opened in 1997. Its capacity is 28,723 and the record attendance was set at 28,353 for a Premier League match against Leicester City Football Club in 2003.