The Story


        War against Germany is about to be declared.

In front of a 23,000 strong crowd at Burnden Park, the Bolton Wanderers' captain, Harry Goslin, gives a rousing speech before leading the entire team to the local Territorial Army drill hall where they all sign up.

For the next six years, as gunners in the 53rd Field Regiment of the Bolton Artillery, they face some of the heaviest fighting of the

Second World War in France, North Africa and Italy and also establish themselves as a formidable regimental football team throughout the theatre of war.

Of the full squad only one is killed in action - the remainder return home to their families and to their football careers.


But this is much more than a war story.

It is much more than a football story.


It is also the story of three individuals: Ray Westwood, who is already a football star; his inseparable team mate, Ernie Forrest, whose ready wit carries them through in the face of adversity and Harry Goslin their captain and leader. It's also the story of Nat Lofthouse who is still only a schoolboy when war intervenes to link their destinies and start him on the road to football fame.

We also meet the women and girls in the live sof the team and follow Ray’s and Nat’s touching love stories as the war shapes their futures.

This is the story of a team whose loyalty led them into a bloody world conflict - and whose indomitable spirit enabled them to survive; it is about a legendary group of men who kept alive their friendships, loyalties, values and convictions throughout the darkest of days.



Adapted from the book Wartime Wanderers
by Tim Purcell and Mike Gething