Strong Bolton squad for Davenport testimonial

BOLTON Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce brings a strong squad, led by captain Jay Jay Okocha, to play a Cork

Selection at Turners Cross tonight (7.30pm) in a testimonial match for in France for treatment on his fractured cheekbone and Brazilian striker Mario Jardel is staying in England in a bid to regain full fitness. Greece’s Stelios Giannakopolous and Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen are on international duty, but there will still be plenty of Premiership talent on display.

Defenders Emerson Thome and Ivan Campo and midfielders Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Gardner should line up alongside star man Okocha.

An added bonus should be the appearance of free agent and former AC Milan and France star Ibrahim Ba, currently on trial with Bolton.

Davenport said: “Sam’s a really good pal of mine. Bolton were my first club, I scout for them still and I’m Bolton born and bred so I’m really looking forward to the night

I’m really looking forward to seeing a lot of people who I haven’t seen for 30 years.

Davenport, who has had heart problems for the last six months but is on the road to recovery, joined Cork Celtic in 1969 having played for Bolton Wanderers as a youth.

His goalscoring prowess ensured he was an instant and massive hit with fans. He moved from Celtic to their local rivals Cork Hibs, helping them win the League Championship, and FAI Cup.

“People keep asking me if I’m going to play but I have tell them ‘Are you mad? I’m 59 and just had two heart attacks’. I don’t think I’ll be bringing my boots. His successors in Cork colours tonight are expected to be the bulk of the City first-team squad, although John O’Flynn is on duty with the Republic of Ireland U21s and new signing from Nottingham Forest, Liam Kearney, is with the U20s, who play the Czech Republic in Dublin tonight.

Bolton Wanderers (from): K Poole, J Bon; A Barness, F Laville, E Thome, S Charlton, D Livesey, B N’Gotty, I Campo, K Nolan, N Hunt, J Smith, J Johnson, D Niven, G Little, R Gardner, I Ba, J J Okocha, H Pedersen, K Davies, P Frandsen.

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