Somerville John Image 1 Bolton Wanderers 1897

Somerville John Image 1 Bolton Wanderers 1897


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Ayr born right back John Somerville began his football career with hometown club Ayr Parkhouse in 1889 and joined Football League club Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 1890, making his Football League debut against Notts County that September. He went on to make 294 appearances for the club over the next eleven seasons, scoring 3 times, the highlight of his Bolton playing career being his appearance in the 1894 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Notts County. He also played in the 1896 FA Cup semi final, which Bolton lost in a replay to eventual winners Sheffield Wednesday in a replay at Nottingham.

When Frank Brettell left the club in the summer of 1898, Somerville was made secretary-manager-player, and although they were relegated in his first season he played 20 times as they were promoted as Second Division runners up in 1900. On his retirement in 1901 he remained as secretary-manager and eventually became the club’s first full-time manager in 1908. Under Somerville, the club were promoted to the First Division on three separate occasions and relegated four times. During the 1909-10 season when Bolton were relegated the fourth time, Somerville stepped down in January 1910, being replaced by Will Settle. He remained as secretary for the rest of the season before leaving the club. He later became a Football League linesman.

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