Boro are on the road again tonight with a trip to Bolton Wanderers (8pm). We take a look at some players with ties with both clubs...
Boro Academy product David Wheater is one of six current Bolton players to have featured for the Trotters and the Teessiders. Wheater amassed just under 150 appearances for Boro and was appointed captain during the 2009/10 campaign. He made the move to Lancashire in January 2011 and helped them return to the Championship in 2017 at the first attempt after relegation to League One. He’s alongside five other ex-Boro players in the Wanderers’ ranks, with Andrew Taylor, Gary O’Neil, Jonathan Grounds, Yanic Wildschut and Sammy Ameobi all now plying their trade at the University of Bolton Stadium. Boro goalkeeper Andy Lonergan had a three-year spell in Bolton.
Fomer Turkey international Tuncay made his mark on these shores with Boro having joined us in 2007 from Fenerbahce. During his two seasons at the Riverside, Tuncay scored 18 goals in all competitions. The striker signed for Stoke City in 2009 following our relegation from the Premier League, with the Potters under the stewardship of now Boro manager Tony Pulis. After leaving Stoke in 2011, he signed for Wolfsburg but found himself back in England and the top flight with a loan stint at Bolton. With the Wanderers he played 22 times but only found the back of the net once - on his debut in a 2-1 victory over Macclesfield in the League Cup.
Michael Ricketts spearheaded Bolton's charge to the Premier League with a 24-goal haul in their promotion-winning season in 2000/01, including in the Play-Off final victory over Preston. His goal-scoring form continued in the Premier League with the Trotters, which earned him his only England in a friendly against Holland. He moved to Boro in January 2003 but only netted four times, with his first goal in Boro colours coming against Bolton on the final day of the 2002/03 campaign.
Jamie Pollock made over 150 appearances for Boro and helped us secure promotion to the top flight in 1995 as we were crowned champions in our final season at Ayresome Park. A midfielder, Pollock had a brief stay in Spain before he landed at Bolton in 1996. Having helped Boro reach the Premier League, he was part of the Wanderers side who also marked their final campaign at their former home - Burnden Park - with promotion back to the top flight.
A loan spell with Bolton in Stuart Ripley’s early years helped shape the Boro-born winger’s career, which eventually saw him collect a Premier League winners’ medal with one of the Wanderers’ local rivals Blackburn Rovers. The former England Youth international scored once in five appearances for the Trotters. His brief time with Bolton helped him go on to become a key part of the Boro squad and was part of the side who clinched successive promotions and secure a place in the inaugural Premier League. Having also featured in our maiden appearance at Wembley, Ripley played 250 times for his hometown club before his successful switch to Blackburn.
Our first £1million capture, Neil Cox achieved promotion to the Premier League in his first season with us in 1994 after arriving from Aston Villa. After relegation from the top flight in 1997, Cox made the switch to Bolton. Despite the Wanderers falling out of the Premier League in his maiden campaign with the Trotters, Cox helped them reach the Play-Off final as they bid to bounce back at the first attempt. However Watford prevailed in sealing a place in the top flight - the team he would join the next season.