Grant Holt on his Norwich City love affair and a special goodbye
Focus Images 2011
Grant Holt has revealed his affection for Norwich City almost brought him back to Carrow Road for a second tour of duty.
Holt earned cult hero status during a spell that saw him crowned player-of-the-season in three consecutive years, after leading the club from League One to the Premier League.
The 38-year-old's remarkable football journey is crammed into his autobiography, 'Grant Holt; A Real Football Life', in shops this coming weekend and now available to buy online.
The prolific striker's career-defining stint at the Canaries makes for compelling reading, and there may have been one more chapter, when Neil Adams was in charge of the club in 2014 and Holt was out of the picture at Wigan.
"Huddersfield were on the phone and I had Neil Adams, the new Norwich manager, asking if I wanted to go back on loan," he said. "That was massively tempting, but I don't think everyone at Norwich wanted me back, so nothing happened. Huddersfield were under a bit of pressure, but they had a decent side and I fancied it. It was great to be playing again.
"We didn't lose for my first seven games, which included a 2-2 draw away at Ipswich. They were giving me dog's abuse. It was so hostile, but I loved it.
"In the December we travelled to Norwich, which was the first time I'd been back to Carrow Road since leaving. I started the game, and the fans were singing my name from the start.
"It was really surreal, especially when you are 5-0 down - as we were - and the fans were singing, 'Holty, give us a wave'. I thought I'd get a good welcome, but I never expected everyone to stay and cheer for me at the end of the game, so I ended up doing a lap of honour.
"It was nice to be able to say goodbye properly. It felt special."
Holt had already faced his old club during an earlier loan stint at Aston Villa.
"We were already 4-1 up and every time I warmed up you could hear the Norwich fans singing my name. When I came on the away end erupted," he said. "I couldn't believe it. It was almost embarrassing.
"I didn't get a chance to score, but I definitely wouldn't have celebrated. I'd already made my mind up. I'd have been lynched if I'd done that."
Grant Holt: A Real Football Life tells the story of the City legend's stunning rise up nine tiers of English football from non-league grafter to scoring at Anfield, the Emirates, the Etihad and Stamford Bridge.
In shops from Saturday and available to order NOW from shop.canaries.co.uk