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Sports reporters welcome new manager with prank

Regional sports journalists gave a quite literally warm welcome to a football club’s new manager by donning woolly hats for his first press conference.

Reporters from The Bolton News and Manchester Evening News joined colleagues from radio and television stations in the prank aimed at incoming Bolton Wanderers boss Neil Lennon.

The joke came about after Lennon’s decision to ban players from training in winter headgear on his very first day in the job.

Thankfully the Northern Irishman saw the funny side of the stunt.

bolton hats

After being told it was a way of breaking the ice, he responded with a wry smile: “That might not be the only thing broken today.”

Bolton News chief football writer Marc Iles said: “We thought we’d try and break the ice a little bit and test what his funnybone was like.

“We were all in on the joke.

“He sat down and looked bemused at first but then he smiled and knew what was going on.”

The antics at Thursday’s conference were mirrored by many of the 1,500 Bolton supporters who watched Lennon’s first game in charge away at Birmingham City on Saturday.

Marc added: “We did wear our hats in the press box at Birmingham too but that was just because it was so cold.

“The area near our home ground is known as Winter Hill too and it gets quite cold there, so woolly hats and warm coats become a bit of a prerequisite for supporters after August anyway.”

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