They Played for Both Clubs: Bolton v Sheffield Wednesday: Stuart Holden

Stuart Alistair Holden - footballer, playboy, inspiration, sex machine - Bob Levey

Stuart Alistair Holden - footballer, playboy, inspiration, sex machine

Stuart Alistair Holden was born on 1st August 1985 in Cults, Aberdeenshire. He spent his formative years in Scotland before moving with his family to Texas, aged ten, as Holden's father was a bigwig at the Chevron Corporation, an American multinational energy firm.

Stuart's natural inclination was to turn to football from an early age. He was taken on by Clemson University, South Carolina following a successful spell playing in Houston for Awty International School in Spring Branch.

After two years of football at Clemson, he was taken on through a short-term contract by Sunderland in 2005, however this spell in England would not end well for the young Scottish-American hopeful. On a night out in Newcastle, Holden suffered a fractured cheekbone in an unprovoked assault. It happened in the early hours, and Stuart was out with his brother and a friend when a group of four men approached, and one punched him. His eye socket was fractured in three places. He would spend two months recovering from the attack, before then going on to suffer a serious ankle injury when back in training with Sunderland.

Holden was released that summer, having failed to make a single senior appearance for the club.

Showing a single-minded determination, Stuart Holden went back to America to play in Major League Soccer with Houston Dynamo in 2006. He made his debut in May of that year, and went on to enjoy a memorable season, as Houston won the MLS Cup. Holden scored a penalty in the shoot-out win over New England Revolution, after the game had finished in a draw.

As his fame grew, so did his playing time - predominantly used by his manager on the left wing. His performances for Houston saw him win his first call to join up with the United States national side in December 2008, however he had to withdraw from the squad after suffering an injury. Undaunted, Holden went on to win his first cap the following year in July 2009, marking a memorable debut with a goal in a 4-0 win over Grenada in the Gold Cup.

Holden had become a well-known name in MLS by this point, to the extent that he was invited over to join Burnley on trial. However, shortly after Holden's arrival in Lancashire, his manager, Owen Coyle, left Burnley to become the new manager at Bolton Wanderers and made sure that Holden came along with him, signing the midfielder to a short-term contract and giving him his debut in a 0-4 away defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. The American was one of the few bright sparks in Bolton's heavy loss and he retained his spot in the side against rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers the following week.

Ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, everything was set for Holden to cement his spot in the US side. However, and as maybe could be predicted, just as Holden was set for lift-off disaster struck. He was the recipient of a wild tackle from then-Manchester City man Nigel de Jong in a friendly game against Holland, resulting in a fractured right leg and ostensibly keeping him out of the World Cup.

However, that drive and determination which had brought Holden to the brink of the competition saw him through and within eight short weeks he was back on the pitch, and he played as a substitute in the opening game of the competition, a notable 1-1 win against England, with Clint Dempsey scoring for the US.

Holden's performances had been enough to win a new contract at Bolton Wanderers, as fans and staff alike praised the all-action displays that he provided. He was a key figure in midfield alongside Fabrice Muamba that year, as Wanderers spent much of the season in the top-half of the Premier League and also reached the FA Cup semi-finals, but Holden would miss out on the Wembley showdown with Stoke City following yet another reckless tackle, this time by Manchester United's Jonny Evans, in which Holden suffered damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and a fracture to the joint.

That season had been the ‘breakout' year of Holden's stop-start career, making the injury all the more disappointing to everyone at Bolton Wanderers. He had been selected in The Guardian's Team of the Season So Far by Christmas 2011, as voted for by fans of Premier League clubs. He was praised for his dynamism in a fantasy team alongside the likes of Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Manchester United defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and Andy Carroll of Newcastle United.

Holden was set for six months on the sidelines, with a return pencilled in for the following season. Right on time, Holden was selected to play in a Cup game against Aston Villa, where he managed an impressive 90 minutes, though what was thought a minor set-back when ruled out for a further six weeks as the club brought forward a routine follow up procedure ended up meaning that he spent  another six months out after serious cartilage damage was discovered during the operation. That season, and without their influential midfielder, Bolton Wanderers were relegated from the Premier League.

It would take until 16th January 2013 for Holden to play first-team football for Bolton again, in a neat twist of fate the opposition, against Sunderland in the FA Cup. He was given a richly deserved hero's welcome by the home fans as he replaced young midfielder Josh Vela with 20 minutes remaining.

He played again in the league against Peterborough United in February, before joining Saturday's opponents Sheffield Wednesday on loan with the intention of providing him with regular first team football. The deal was viewed by most as a success, as despite showing understandable signs of rustiness he managed four appearances.

He signed for Wednesday on an initial month loan on 28th March, to gain match fitness himself and to cover for first choice midfield Michail Antonio, making his debut at Hillsborough in a local derby against Barnsley. Holden made his second appearance in a 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers, playing for 59 minutes before being substitutedl.

He would also play for Bolton again before the end of the season, in a 1-1 draw against eventual league champions Cardiff City.

That Summer, and with Bolton manager Dougie Freedman's blessing, Holden left the club to join up with the United States side, managed by German legend Jurgen Klinsmann, ahead of the Gold Cup competition. Disaster again struck, and having played a major part in a successful tournament, Holden suffered another injury. Initial reports indicated he had suffered strained ligaments in his right knee, but scans would later reveal the full extent of the injury - a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It was believed at the time that he would miss the entire 2013/14 season.

Recovering in America, Holden announced in October that he was ahead of schedule, and believes that he will be back in the Bolton Wanderers side by the New Year, which would be a huge boost to the club and the supporters, who love Holden's relentlessly positive approach to life and the challenges sent his way.

Holden signed a new deal at Bolton just before his injury in the Gold Cup, and if we can get him anywhere to where he was before, then it'll be like a new £5m signing for the club. It's a big ‘if', but we all hope that he can make a successful and injury-free return - he certainly deserves some luck to go his way.

Club

Club performance

League

Cup

League Cup

Continental

Total

Season

Club

League

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

Apps

Goals

England

League

FA Cup

League Cup

Europe

Total

2005-06

Sunderland

Premier League

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USA

League

Open Cup

League Cup

North America

Total

2006

Houston Dynamo

Major League Soccer

13

1

0

0

2

0

0

0

15

1

2007

22

5

1

0

4

1

3

0

30

6

2008

27

3

1

0

2

0

9

0

39

3

2009

26

6

0

0

3

0

5

0

34

6

England

League

FA Cup

League Cup

Europe

Total

2009-10

Bolton Wanderers

Premier League

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

2010-11

26

2

3

0

1

0

0

0

30

2

2011-12

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

2012-13

Championship

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

Total

USA

88

15

2

0

11

1

17

0

118

16

England

34

2

6

0

2

0

0

0

37

2

Career total

122

17

8

0

12

1

17

0

156

18

International

National team

Year

Apps

Goals

United States

2009

11

2

2010

6

0

2011

0

0

2012

0

0

2013

4

1

Total

21

3

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lion Of Vienna Suite

You must be a member of Lion Of Vienna Suite to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lion Of Vienna Suite. You should read them.

Join Lion Of Vienna Suite

You must be a member of Lion Of Vienna Suite to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lion Of Vienna Suite. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker