Stuart Holden Announces Retirement from Football

  • February 03, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Stuart Holden's long road to recovery has come to an end, after he officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Holden, who joined Bolton from Houston Dynamo in January 2010, made 38 appearances for the club prior to his departure in 2014, during a four-and-a-half year spell which was heavily blighted by a succession of serious knee injuries.

Having become a father for the first time on Monday, to a daughter named Kennady Rose, Holden admits the time has come to 'stop fighting' his body and face up to the reality that his days on the field are a thing of the past.

In an excerpt from a statement posted at, Holden said: "As I sat down to write my retirement letter, the final chapter of my 11-year career, my wife went into labor with our first child.

"Labor can take a while, but it's the perfect affirmation that I have made the right decision to hang up my boots. I couldn't be more ready - ready for the next chapter of my life, ready to wave goodbye to the pitch (the playing part, at least), but most of all, ready to embark on the most exciting journey yet, fatherhood.

"It's time to stop fighting my body. I've known for a while, but I've struggled to admit it to myself and to others.

"The countless sleepless nights, the aches and pains, and the constant mental battles were all signs pointing to a new path. But every time I was about to utter the three big words 'I am retired', all the memories of walking into roaring stadiums, scoring last-minute goals, and being part of amazing teams dragged me back!

"The same never-say-die attitude that drove me to fight like hell my entire career wouldn't let me say the 'R word'.

"I met every setback - and there were many - with a positive attitude. I responded to every disappointment with an 'OK. What's next?' Now, again, I must answer that question. What is next is being proud of my accomplishments, giving thanks to those who have supported me, and smiling at whatever the future holds, the first of which is a baby girl."

In addition, Holden also admitted it was time for him to become a fan again, thanking supporters of previous clubs, mainly Dynamo and Wanderers, for their backing throughout his career.

"To Bolton Wanderers and the Houston Dynamo, you welcomed me to the family and for that I am forever thankful," he added. "Now it's my turn to be a fan.

"It's been one hell of a ride - a ride that a wee lad from Aberdeen (that's in Scotland for those who flunked geography) dreamt of, worked hard for, and made come true.

"One thing is for sure: you haven't seen the end of me. That means it is time for Stuart Holden, the retired athlete and third-person self-referencer, to step up and deliver a life-winning assist! Child birth has just put all of my injuries into perspective. I now know that my wife is the real champ (and my Mom too)!"

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
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