Norwich City's top 100 appearances: Grant Holt (88) - He has one lingering regret, but that will never take anything away from the spell of a true Carrow Road legend
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010
168 appearances/78 goals
You will struggle to find a player in this entire list, who enjoyed a more successfully complete ride than Grant Holt.
Yet despite successive promotions, Premier League consolidation and an unprecedented player of the season treble, the City number nine still feels it should’ve been more.
“The only regret I’ve ever had is that I maybe should’ve stamped my foot down a bit and stayed a little longer,” admitted Holt.
“It was never an argument with Chris Hughton. I got on with him great, player to manager. It was just the way we played.
“At the time the chief executive (David McNally) said I wouldn’t be playing the next season because of certain players they had brought in and I was going to be on the sidelines, told me I could leave if I wanted to – I said I didn’t really want to – and then they accepted a bid from Wigan, which tells you they want you to walk out of the door.
“That was the only disappointment, that it was earlier than I should have left – and I never got to knock Iwan Roberts out of the top five goalscorers!”
Tongue in cheek, Holt added: “You never know, if I have a good summer I might be back – the new manager might want a nice 36-year-old, experienced lad who knows a bit about the league. Wait and see.”
Those final machinations were out of kilter with the previous three seasons under Paul Lambert, as captain Holt broke new ground in his career and that of those around him. He was prolific from the off, averaging almost a goal every two games across three divisions and form that earned him England contention.
There was a hat-trick on only his second appearance, a first City hat-trick against Ipswich in 42 years, a bullet header at Anfield – all from a player whose £450,000 fee from Shrewsbury was part funded by supporters giving up a rebate on their season tickets following relegation to League One. The fans owned a bit of Grant Holt, and the striker only ever repaid on their investment.
“It still feels as good as how I remembered it at the time,” he added.
“We had a squad of 25 players, we all went out together, no one missed out. We were all a good group. I scored some important goals over those years, some good hat-tricks. I did all right.”