King's Lynn Town swoop for former Norwich City pair Grant Holt AND Simon Lappin
King's Lynn Town have completed a major double swoop this morning, signing former Norwich City stars Grant Holt and Simon Lappin.
The Linnets have pulled off a major coup by persuading Holt and Lappin to join the revolution being led by Canaries legend Ian Culverhouse in the Bostik Southern League Premier Division.
The former Norwich duo are set to speak to the media at The Walks this morning, as chairman Stephen Cleeve bolsters Culverhouse’s squad further following a promising start to the campaign.
Lynn are fourth in the Southern Premier after seven wins and a draw from their opening 10 matches, slipping to just their second defeat in a 3-1 loss at Weymouth on Saturday.
Culverhouse took over from long-serving Gary Setchell for the final months of last season and has been busy reshaping the Linnets’ squad with his sights set on promotion to the second tier of the non-league pyramid.
The signing of Canaries legend Holt sends a huge message to Lynn’s rivals, even if the combative striker is now 36 years old.
Holt scored goals 78 goals in 168 games during four seasons of superb success after signing from Shrewsbury for around £500,000 in the summer of 2009, after City had been relegated to League One.
The centre-forward was the talisman leading back-to-back promotions to the Premier League under Paul Lambert, scoring 15 goals as Norwich finished 12th in the top flight in 2012 and narrowly missing out on an England chance.
Lambert’s exit and the arrival of a more defensive style under Chris Hughton meant just eight goals for the man who had won the club’s player-of-the-season award three seasons on the spin.
After finishing 11th, Hughton sold Holt to Wigan for around £2m at 32 years old, dropping back down to the Championship. The move never really worked out and – after finishing 2013-14 on loan at Lambert’s Aston Villa side – a loan move to Huddersfield was cut short by a serious knee injury.
Loans to Wolves and Rochdale wound down Holt’s time with Wigan and he completed his career in the professional ranks by helping Hibernian win the Scottish Championship title last season, scoring seven goals in 37 matches in all competitions.
He is joined in west Norfolk by another former Norwich player who has put down roots in Norfolk, with left-sided midfielder or full-back Lappin also signing.
The Scot joined City from St Mirren for around £100,000 from St Mirren in January 2007 and went on to make 126 appearances, scoring four goals before joining Cardiff City on a free transfer in January 2013.
The cult hero known as ‘the king of Spain’ was also part of the Lambert squad which enjoyed such great success, when Lynn boss Culverhouse was assistant manager at Carrow Road.
Lappin made four Premier League appearances for the Canaries, often providing cover at left-back for Adam Drury during his City spell and latterly for Marc Tierney.
After a brief spell on loan with Sheffield United in League One in 2013, Lappin returned to Scotland to play for St Johnstone in 2014, playing regularly across two Scottish Premiership campaigns.
He then returned to England and made seven appearances in the National League with York City, rupturing his Achilles tendon in March. Now aged 34, Lappin has been working hard on his fitness – as well as co-commentating on the Canaries for BBC Radio Norfolk – and is ready for another challenge.