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They Played for Both Clubs: Dean Holdsworth

Bolton v Spurs X

In this week’s edition of played for both, brace yourself for the breaker of (administrational) chains, father of a once broken transfer record, FA cup semi-final squanderer and rightful ruler of BL6, Dean Holdsworth.

This man’s history with both the Trotters and the Bees is laced with goals, promotions and gorgeous hair do’s and Dean’s overall affiliation with football boasts many different positions on the English football spectrum. So let’s begin at the start.

Dean Holdsworth was born, alongside twin brother David, on the 8th November 1968 in Walthamstow, London. 18 Years later Dean was handed his first professional contract but his three-year spell at Watford was largely spent out on loan before being snapped up by one of his loan clubs, Brentford FC for £125,000 back in 1989.

Holdsworth enjoyed his most prolific spell in his career whilst plying his trade at Griffin Park, in which he scored 76 goals in 145 games which saw the club rise from mid-table to division three champions in three seasons. During that title-winning season, Holdsworth notched an incredible 38 goals, which saw him named in the PFA team of the year and also become a wanted man.

That summer Premier League Wimbledon paid Brentford £700,000 for their top goal scorer’s services and he did not disappoint in his first season accumulating 19 goals, which made him the Dons’ top goal scorer and the Premier League’s third top goal scorer.

After 5 years with the renowned “Crazy Gang” in which he managed 76 goals in 208 games, newly promoted Bolton Wanderers smashed their transfer record by splashing out £3.5 Million in a bid to avoid relegation in their first season in the Premier League. It didn’t go to plan as Wanderers were relegated on goal difference at the end of the season with Holdsworth only managing 3 goals.

Holdsworth fared better goals wise in the division below, scoring 12 goals in a season where Bolton made it to the playoff final in their quest for promotion, only to be undone by Watford at Wembley.

Semi Final heartbreak in both the FA Cup and Playoffs followed the next season, Holdsworth infamously playing a big part in the FA Cup semi-final defeat via missing an open goal from six yards out. Villa went on to win 4-1 on penalties. Deano managed 15 goals that season but Wanderer's fate of another year in division 1 was sealed with a 7-5 aggregate loss to Ipswich Town in the Play-off semi-final.

Deano banged in another 15 goals for the whites in the 2000/2001 season which saw Wanderers get into the playoffs for a third consecutive year. After sweeping aside West Brom in the semis’, Bolton scored two late goals to seal a 3-0 win against Preston at the Millennium Stadium.

Holdsworth was restricted to mainly substitute appearances for the next season and a half before eventually joining Coventry City in 2003. Deano scored 49 goals in 168 appearances for Bolton.

The Londoner failed to find the net in his 11 league games at Coventry and moved on to Brian Talbot's Rushden & Diamonds in March. Diamonds topped the Third Division in 2002/2003, though Holdsworth left Nene Park in the summer.

He returned to Wimbledon for the 2003/2004 campaign, as the club relocated to Milton Keynes. He scored three goals in 28 games in 2003/2004. He then spent the 2004/2005 season with Havant & Waterlooville in the Conference South.

Holdsworth hung up his boots and dipped his toes into the management world in 2007 with Redbridge and after a solidarity season in the Isthmian League, spells at Newport County, Aldershot, Chelmsford, and Brentwood followed before he resigned from his role as director of football/manager at Brentwood in November 2015 due to “growing business commitments”.

After heavy rumors that Holdsworth was heading a consortium to buy Bolton Wanderers towards the end of 2015, Sports Shield acquired half the shares of the club and Holdsworth became joint owner of the club alongside Inner Circle’s Ken Anderson, thus saving the club from the jaws of administration in March 2016.

A year and a half of public spats with Chairman Ken Anderson came to an end as Holdsworth’s company Sports Shield was liquidated over an unpaid loan which was taken out to buy the club. The shares it held in the club were then acquired by Ken Anderson.

You have to give Holdsworth respect for what he did for the club and I fear to think of the state in which it would be in he hadn’t got involved.

Anyway, COYWM lets have three points.