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Bolton Wanderers vs Brentford: Played For Both Clubs - Dean Holdsworth

A look at former Brentford and Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Dean Holdsworth, born 8th November 1968, started his career with Watford FC in 1986.

A lot of Holdworth's time at Vicarage Road was spent out on loan, with Carlisle United, Port Vale, Swansea City and Brentford FC. The latter of those, Brentford, signed Holdsworth permanently in 1989 for a fee of £125,000. In his three years with Watford, Holdsworth made 20 appearances, scoring 3 goals.

It would be with Brentford where Holdsworth became a prolific goalscorer. Brentford went from 13th, to the Play-Offs, to third Division Champions in three years. Forming a partnership up front with Gary Blissett, Holdsworth scored 38 goals in the 1991/1992 season as The Bees were promoted to the First Divsion (The Championship).

Holdsworth was named in the 1992 PFA team of the year, and due to his scintillating form for Brentford, attracted attention from another clubs. After three years with Brentford, Holdsworth moved to Premier League side Wimbledon for around £700,000. In total for Brentford, Holdsworth scored 76 goals in 145 games.

Holdsworth made an immediate impact in his first season at the "Dons", becoming the club's top scorer and the Premier League's third highest scorer with 19 goals, forming a solid partnership with John Fashanu. During his time at Selhurst Park, eccentric club chairman Sam Hammam promised to buy Holdsworth a Ferrari sports car and even a camel if he managed to score 20 league goals in a season.

Holdsworth never quite managed to reach that target. He hit 17 league and seven cup goals in 1993–94, including a hat-trick against Oldham Athletic on 26 April 1994. He was less prolific in 1994–95, though Wimbledon still finished in ninth place. He hit 16 goals in 1995–96, to become the club's joint-top scorer, along with strike partner Efan Ekoku.

After five years with Wimbledon, Holdsworth moved up north to joined recently promoted Bolton Wanderers, for a then club record fee of £3.5 million. During his time with Wimbledon, Holdsworth scored 76 goals in 208 games.

Holdsworth never hit the form he did during his time with Wimbledon, scoring only 3 goals in the 1997/1998 season (in wins against Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace). Subsequently, Bolton were relegated, finishing 18th, level on points with Everton, who only survived the drop on goal difference (Gerry Taggart's goal was CLEARLY OVER the line).

Dean Holdsworth then scored 12 goals the next season, as Bolton were beaten by Watford at Wembley in the Play-Off Final. The next season he hit 15, as Bolton were fucked over by Barry Knight in the Play-Off semi-final at Ipswich Town.

Also in 2000, Holdsworth had his most memorable/infamous moment as a Wanderers player. In the semi-final of the FA Cup against Aston Villa at Wembley, Holdsworth missed an open goal from six yards out, meaning the match went to penalties, where Bolton lost 4-1.

He scored 15 goals from 29 starts in 2000/2001 season, including a hat-trick past Scunthorpe United in a 5–1 win at the Reebok Stadium. Bolton reached the play-off final, and beat Preston North End 3–0 at the Millennium Stadium to regain their top-flight status. He was restricted to nine league starts and 22 substitute appearances in the 2001/2002 season, scoring once each against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. He made ten goalless appearances in 2002/2003 season, though was briefly joined in Lancashire by his twin brother David for the first time since leaving Watford.

The Holdsworth twins did actually play together for Bolton, in a league cup defeat to Bury FC in 2002. I can't think of any other twins that have played together for Bolton. If anyone knows pop it the comments section below.

Dean Holdsworth moved to Coventry City in 2003. In total for Bolton, Holdsworth scored 49 goals in 186 games.

After brief spells with Coventry, Rushden & Diamonds, a brief return to Wimbledon and a season with Havant and Waterlooville, Holdsworth became the assistant manager of Derby County, under the stewardship of another former Wanderer, Phil Brown. Holdsworth left in 2006 after Brown's sacking.

Dean Holdsworth hung up his boots in 2008, starting a managerial career instead. Holdsworth had spells as manager of non-league Redbridge and Newport County, where he won the Conference South in 2010, before joining League 2 side Aldershot Town in 2011. Holdsworth two years with Aldershot, keeping them in League 2 for two years before being sacked in 2013.

Holdsworth has since had spells as manager of non-legaue sides Chelmsford City and Brentwood Town, leaving the latter in October 2015.

Holdsworth is also a former chairman of the PFA and founded the Non league footballers association.

Dean Holdsworth is currently spearheading a consortium to buy our wonderful club as director of company Sports Shield.