'A Norwich City legend' - story of Grant Holt's 'remarkable' journey to the Premier League

PUBLISHED: 11:40 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:48 27 March 2019

Grant Holt signed for Norwich City in 2009 Picture: Antony Kelly

Grant Holt signed for Norwich City in 2009 Picture: Antony Kelly

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

His remarkable rise to the Premier League from the ninth tier of English football has been told in his own words for the first time.

Norwich City legend Grant Holt pictured scoring an equaliser at Liverpool in November 2011 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City legend Grant Holt pictured scoring an equaliser at Liverpool in November 2011 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Grant Holt was instrumental in helping the Canaries achieve back-to-back promotions between 2009 and 2011, hauling the club from League One to the top flight.

It was a career which spanned from supplementing his income playing for Workington as a tyre-fitter to silencing Anfield in the top tier of English football.

Today Holt’s autobiography - A Real Football Life - has been released to pre-order.

It was a far from conventional path to success, from non-league stalwart to semi-pro in Australia and unlikely star in Singapore.

A series of rejections made him give up football at the age of 21, but nine years later he was bullying world class defenders in the Premier League on route to becoming England’s second highest goal scorer behind Wayne Rooney in the 2011-12 season.

“This feels like the perfect time to tell my story,” said Holt. “I achieved much more in my career than I ever thought I would, and I did it through hard work, commitment, luck and a bit of ability.

“I loved nearly every minute of it, from winning promotion in the ninth tier of English football to somehow playing against the likes of Ryan Giggs, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Robin van Persie.

“It was a brilliant journey, and I’m really proud to have had the opportunity to get my story out there.”

Grant Holt was named Norwich City's player of the season for three successive seasons Photo: Nick ButcherGrant Holt was named Norwich City's player of the season for three successive seasons Photo: Nick Butcher

Dan Brigham, head of publications at Norwich City, worked on the book with Holt.

“We’re thrilled to have joined up with Twocan to publish Grant’s brilliant story,” he said. “From scoring at Wembley when he was just 11, through his ups and downs and rise up the leagues, to his goals against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, Grant’s journey is unique.

“He’s a Norwich City legend, but we were just one of 17 clubs Grant played for and the story of his whole career is a belter. This isn’t your average footballer’s autobiography, and we’re really pleased to have worked alongside him.”

Publicist Jules Gammond said: “A match made in heaven with Norwich City propelled him from League One to the Premier League in just two seasons, and to the brink of England’s Euro 2012 squad. His fans loved him, opposition fans loved to hate him.

A relaxing retirement?  No chance. Former Norwich City player Grant Holt is enjoying the challenge of professional wrestling after 19 years in football Picture: Neil DidsburyA relaxing retirement? No chance. Former Norwich City player Grant Holt is enjoying the challenge of professional wrestling after 19 years in football Picture: Neil Didsbury

“Everywhere he went, he left an impression. An honest, old-school striker, his rise from non-league to Premier League was a triumph for the real footballer.”

A Real Football Life also includes a foreword from renowned BT Sport presenter, broadcaster and Norwich City fan Jake Humphrey.

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