Former Portsmouth boss Guy Whittingham recalls failed attempt to sign Bolton manager Ian Evatt during playing days at Chesterfield

Bolton boss Ian Evatt could have been on the Fratton Park touchline yesterday as an ex-Pompey player.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 1:00 pm

That’s according to former Blues boss Guy Whittingham, who admitted he tried to sign the former central defender from Chesterfield during his time in charge at Fratton Park.

A deal appeared on the cards at the start of the 2013-14 season, with the Spireites’ manager at the time, Paul Cook, supposedly happy for the then 32-year-old to make a loan move to the south coast.

However, nothing materialised after Whittingham was eventually told that Evatt – who had only returned to Chesterfield following a six-year spell at Blackpool – didn’t want to come.

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Recalling the proposed move on BBC Solent during Pompey’s 1-0 victory against Bolton on Saturday, the Blues legend said: ‘He was out of the side at Chesterfield under Paul Cook, so I made the enquiry.

‘Paul Cook said “yeah, he’s interested, let’s do a deal”.

‘It was just a loan deal and then, at the last minute. Paul Cook told me he didn’t want to come in the end.’

At the time, both club’s were in League Two, although on different trajectories.

Bolton boss Ian Evatt was wanted by former Pompey manager Guy Whittinhgam back in 2013. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

While Chesterfield would go on and claim the title that year with Evatt as captain, Pompey finished the season in 13th, with Whittingham leaving his role as manager in November 2013.

At the time of his move for Evatt, the Blues had Sonny Bradley, Joe Devera and Bondz N’Gala was competing for central defensive roles.

Evatt retired from playing in 2018 following 175 appearances for the Spireites during his second spell at the newly named Technique Stadium.

He’s been Bolton’s manager since the summer of 2020.