At the age of 21, English striker Grant Holt played in the sixth division and worked in a factory, ten years later he had pulled Norwich City from the third division to the Premier League. He is now 38 years old, a professional wrestler and guest actor in the theater. This is his weird career.
On June 2, 2019, almost exactly six years after leaving Norwich City, Grant Holt makes his return to Carrow Road Stadium. Holt looked sinister as you know him, but he was no longer just called Holt, but The Incredible Holt. He was not wearing green pants or yellow jerseys, but tight black and red pants and a black tank top. He wasn’t running on green lawns, but in a gray ring.
Grant Holt is no longer a footballer, Grant Holt is now a wrestler.
This should not be a surprise. Because, as unpredictable as his entire football career is, it was really predictable that something completely unpredictable would happen again after the end of his career. Holt represents the strange.
Tire changer, footballer in Singapore, factory worker
He was born in 1981 in Carlisle, the largest town in north-west England, on the border with Scotland. He played for Carlisle United in youth, but at 18 he had to leave and went to amateur club AFC Workington. During the week, he worked as a tire changer, on the weekend he averaged one goal per game.
Fifth Division Halifax Town side became aware of Holt and signed it, but he wasn’t able to do it there – instead, he moved to Australia on loan to perth semi-professional club FC Sorrento. The transfer was arranged by his former assistant coach in Halifax, who had been sent to Australia after his dismissal.
A few months later, however, Holt was back in England, with the sixth division AFC Barrow – before he brought him back in the distance: to Sengkang Marine singapore. He scored 12 goals in 17 games at the age of 20. He was as far from the Premier League as he was local.
His youth club Carlisle wanted to give him another chance, but despite a firm commitment, financial problems eventually prevented the transfer. Holt returned to Barrow, where he spent nearly two more years. More time of it, but in the factory than on the football field. “I had to organize football around my shifts,” he said later.
How Grant Holt became a Norwich legend
Holt was now 21 years old, he had already given up his dream of professional football. But then he received an invitation for a test training session with second division side Sheffield Wednesday. Holt convinced and got the contract, but went straight with his new club. From then on, he moved from one club to another and from one league to another. Mal AFC Rochdale, sometimes Nottingham Forest, blackpool, clever city. Sometimes second league, sometimes third, sometimes fourth.
At the age of 28, in 2009, Holt moved to third division club Norwich and set out to become a club legend. With 24 goals, he scored Norwich in the second division, with 21 in the Premier League, then with 15 in the maintenance of the class. Over the course of three seasons, Holt was named Norwich’s Player of the Year. In 2012, he was even about to be nominated for the England team of the European Championship. It was the pinnacle of his legendary ascent.
A year later he left Norwich, but somehow he stayed. As a member of the club’s Hall of Fame and co-owner of the SMGH Racing Club greyhound racing team, which he runs with his former Norwich team-mate Steve Morison. As a footballer, he continued with what he had stopped doing before: he changed happily between clubs and leagues. Until the end of his active football career in 2018, he had a total of 19 different employers: 17 clubs, a car mechanic and a factory.
The beginnings of holt in struggle in the clothes of TV experts
He then went back to where he was most beautiful: Norwich. Holt works as a junior coach and TV expert at BT Sport. He has a tight schedule, especially since he also worked for the WAW (World Association of Wrestling) as a professional wrestler.
When it first appeared in September 2018, it wasn’t enough to even move from one job to another. He was an expert on BT Sports in the fifth division match between Eastleigh and Dagenham and Redbridge, before rushing into the ring soon after in jeans, a shirt and sweater. As the 40th and last participant in a so-called Royal Rumble, which he won at the end, of course, and therefore also the so-called Crusher Mason Memorial Trophy.
From the wrestling ring to the Royal Theatre
But how did Holt get into the fight? The British Wrestling Federation WAW is based in Norwich. Holt was always a self-confessed wrestling fan, and after his career ended as a footballer, a friend who also worked for WAW asked him if he could imagine going from fan to fighter. He was able to do so, signed a professional contract in May 2018 and started training.
His premiere in TV pundits clothing and a few more appearances was followed by a participation in Fightmare 3 in June 2019. Held in front of more than 4,000 fans at Carrow Road, where he once became a Norwich legend. Now he fought in a so-called triple-tag team, side by side with the two well-known WWE wrestlers Billy Gunn and René Dupree. “Standing next to them is crazy,” Holt told the website before the appearance. Joe. And then: “You get a lot of hits and landings tirelessly. The next few nights will be painful. And yet he announced that he would participate in the Fightmare 4 follow-up event this year.
Holt used time until then, among other things, to profile himself as an actor. The other day, he made an appearance as a postman during a cinderella pantomime performance at the Royal Theatre in Norwich. “I’ve watched so many times, but being on stage was a weird experience,” he said afterwards. Oddly enough, he hits well – and not just for his theatrical performance.