How James Bolton has been getting into the Portsmouth spirit of things since his arrival from Shrewsbury

It was an opportunity James Bolton was deprived of living in the midlands for the majority of his life.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 8:00 pm

Growing up in Stoke, as well as spending two seasons at Shrewsbury, it meant the right-back was scarcely able to go on an excursion to the seaside when he felt like it.

That all changed when he completed his switch to the south coast, however.

Signing a three-year deal after signing for Pompey on a free transfer in June, it now means Bolton is little more than a stone’s throw away from the Solent on a daily basis.

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Indeed, the 25-year-old took the time to enjoy his new surroundings and take advantage of what he’d never been able to do.

Regularly partnered by Bryn Morris, with Ellis Harrison also joining the pair on occasions, they would cast their lines out and do a spot of fishing off Southsea Pier throughout the summer.

A snapped rod caused Bolton to retire from the sport, although he’s yet to rule out making a return in the near future.

He said: ‘The weather was alright, we were by the sea so I thought I’d give it a go so took up finishing for a little bit, just to pass the time.

James Bolton was living with Bryn Morris after he joined Pompey in the summer. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Being from Stoke, you’d have to go to a local lake so being by the sea I just thought why not, I may as well get into the local spirit.

‘But I think I’ve retired that now because my rod snapped! I was using the wrong road and when I was casting out, it snapped on me.

‘We went down Southsea on the pier – we've been everywhere, me Ellis and Bryn to do a little bit of finishing.

‘I’d done a bit of fishing before and we want to do something just to pass the time in the summer.

James Bolton in action for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘The first time we went, me and Bryn both caught a few things but it dried up and we packed it in!

‘We might bring the rods out again soon.’

The former Gateshead defender was able to discover what Portsea Island had to offer – Gunwharf Quays, in particular.

Ellis Harrison. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/PinPep

After overcoming early-season groin and ankle injuries, he’s now become an established member of Kenny Jackett’s starting side, starting five successive matches before the trip to AFC Wimbledon.

Now Bolton is settled in the Godalming area and saluted everyone who has helped him during the early stages of his Pompey career.

He added: ‘I had been living with Bryn, so it was very frustrating for me.

‘I had a deal on a house that fell through so it means that I’m renting now.

‘I was around Gunwharf, so it was good to go out for food and everything else.

‘It is good area and everyone has been really nice – it’s been an easy move, to be fair.’