|Managing:|| Bolton Wanderers|
|Date of Birth:|| 19/10/1954|
Sam Allardyce was appointed as Bolton Wanderers manager on his 45th birthday in October 1999, filling the vacant post left by Colin Todd.
Sam had resigned from Notts County to move to the Reebok Stadium having taken the club to the Third Division Championship in his first full season at Meadow Lane.
Sam's professionalism and enthusiasm for the game were carried from his playing career which began at Bolton, taking in Sunderland, Millwall, Coventry, Huddersfield, Preston and West Brom, as well as a brief spell in Tampa Bay, America.
An outstanding centre-half who was always respected by his opponents, Sam won a Second Division (now Division 1) Champions medal in 1978 with Bolton and became one of the fans' favourites at Deepdale in his two years with Preston North End, returning to the club to make two appearances before hanging up his boots and donning a coaching jacket.
His previous managerial experience included spells as coach and assistant manager at Preston and Sunderland, and as a manager at leading Irish club, Limerick.
Sam returned from Ireland to become a highly successful manager at Blackpool, where he quickly established himself, taking the Tangerines from the foot of the Second Division table in 1994 to the play-off finals, only for them to lose to Bradford City in 1996. He left the club soon after.
He took charge of Notts County early in 1997, charged with the responsibility of restoring the club's fortunes. After leading The Magpies to the Third Division Championship, and automatic promotion to Division 2, in his first full season at Meadow Lane, Sam strengthened his back room staff and playing squad for the 1998/99 campaign as the team consolidated their position.
Having left Nottinghamshire for Bolton, Sam led The Trotters to the play-offs in his first season, where they beaten in controversial circumstances in the semi-finals by Ipswich.
He continued to rebuild the squad, in an attempt to achieve a return to the Premiership, and fought Blackburn all the way for the second automatic promotion place behind Fulham in the 2000/2001 season.
Once again Bolton had to settle for a place in the play-offs, finishing in third place, but this time they were victorious. Having beaten off the challenge of West Brom in the semis, goals from Gareth Farrelly, super-sub Michael Ricketts and Ricardo Gardner accounted for Sam's former club Preston, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, securing Bolton's top-flight status and giving Allardyce his first taste of Premiership management.
Although many expected Bolton's stay in the newly-named Barclaycard Premiership to be brief, they began the 2001/2002 season with a 100% record in their first three games: beating Leicester, Middlesbrough and Liverpool, to top the table.
Sam admitted at the time that, with limited funds available, that they were still likely to be nearer the other end of the table come the end of the season, and that proved to be the case.
A poor run from November to March saw Bolton sliding back towards the Nationwide League, but they rallied in the final stages of the season to ensure Sam's top flight management tenure was extended for at least another year.
Notts County, Limerick (IR), Blackpool
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