The final whistle is about to blow on the popular Nat Lofthouse exhibition at Bolton Museum.
Nat Lofthouse: A Celebration opened on July 30 and has so far attracted more than 30,000 visitors.
That’s more than the Reebok Stadium capacity and makes it the most popular exhibition at the museum since it held one to mark the club’s move from Burnden Park to Horwich.
The exhibition, in tribute to Bolton’s Lion of Vienna, is a collaboration between Bolton Museum, Nat’s family, BWFC and The Bolton News.
It runs until October 29, so football fans have just over a week to view the archive photographs and memorabilia.
Visitors have travelled far and wide to view the display, which features footage of Nat’s appearance on This Is Your Life; some of his many England caps; a statue of the Lion of Vienna and many more personal artefacts which represent the footballer’s eventful career.
The museum has been running a visitors’ book for the duration of the exhibition and more than 1,500 people have commented on the items on display, including remarks such as “excellent”, “amazing” and “very informative”.
People have travelled from far and wide to view the display, with one visitor from Spain and another from Hong Kong.
Nat’s own son, Jeff Lofthouse, officially opened the exhibition along with BWFC chairman Phil Gartside and the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Noel Spencer.
At the start of the exhibition, members of the public were invited to contribute their own pieces of memorabilia and the museum has added some fans’ personal photos and scrapbooks.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We always knew an exhibition focusing on one of England’s greatest sportsmen would be popular with the people of Bolton, but to have more than 30,000 visitors through the doors is testament to the high regard with which Nat Lofthouse was held in his home town.
“Nat was a one club man and a hero to many. The exhibition is a fitting tribute to his memory and if anyone still hasn’t paid a visit, then I would urge them to come and see Nat Lofthouse: A Celebration as this may the last time the artefacts are on public display.”
BWFC manager, Owen Coyle, said: “It is a great exhibition and a wonderful celebration of Nat. It’s well worth a visit.”
After the exhibition comes to a close on October 29, many of the items will be returned to the Lofthouse family and a smaller tribute to Nat will be set up in the museum’s permanent Bolton Lives gallery.