Often Partisan

Where Are They Now? Part XV

It’s playoff time at Blues and with the second leg being at home I’ve been thinking about previous playoff games – in particular the only time previously we’ve played a second playoff leg at home against Watford. That match went to penalties, and the poor bloke featured today was the guy who missed the penalty to put Blues out. I’m talking of course about Chris Holland.

Chris Holland

You’ve got to feel for Chris Holland. Clearly he wasn’t in line to take a penalty – ninth in line, with even the keeper Kevin Poole ahead of him yet fate fell to him to miss the vital penalty that sent Watford through.

Bad luck had been something that had been associated with the Lancashire-born midfielder anyway; a promising career at Premier League club Newcastle United blighted by a serious eye injury caused by ammonia sprayed at him on a night out which left him with just 20% vision in one eye.

Holland came to the Blues as an England u21 player on loan initially, and having played nine games whilst at Blues on temporary terms he was signed permanently for £600,000 from the Magpies.

Chris was with us for three and a half years, making eighty-eight appearances although nearly half were from the subs bench. He moved on to Huddersfield in February of 2000, signing for the Terriers for the princely sum of £100,000. It was at Huddersfield that Holland probably had his best spell, playing for four years, making 138 appearances and scoring three times – his only goals for a league club.

However, when told by then-Huddersfield manager Peter Jackson he wouldn’t be offered a deal after the 2003/4 season Chris moved on dropping to League Two side Boston United where he spent two and a bit seasons, playing ninety-nine times before leaving in January 2007, four months before Boston were relegated to the conference

Holland moved to Southport, which was closer to his family home in Whalley, Lancashire and stayed on there despite their relegation to the Conference North at the end of the 06/07 season. Since then Holland has played for a variety of clubs in the Lancashire region such as Leigh Genesis, Fleetwood and Burscough.

At the age of thirty-six Chris Holland is now at Guiseley AFC of the Conference North, where he combines his duties as a player with being first team coach. Despite having a much grayer barnet now, he still apparently has the class in midfield that marked him out as a talent at a younger age and he occasionally is on the subs bench for the Lions when needed.

I sincerely hope that none of our players have to go through what Chris went through that fateful night back in 1999; it was heartbreaking watching and I’m not sure I’d like to go through that again.

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12 Responses to “Where Are They Now? Part XV”

  • Mark Peacock says:

    Class while on loan at the blues and touted as the next Gazza but when he signed on permantley he never quiet lived up to the loan spell.

    He had some class on the ball and could have been a better player had he not been on the slighly heavier side!

    Never knew about his eye injury though, I am suprised he played on at all with only 20% vision in one eye, fair play to him.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Where are they now ?

    Could you cover two former central defenders next…
    Roger Johnson & Scott Dann ?

    • prewarblue says:

      Didnt they both leave because they wanted to play a higher standard of football ? [ nothing to do with money of course ]

  • Masaccio says:

    Johnson & Dann – Jonah & Jonah! + will Davy Dunn want to drop a division?

  • smartamatt says:

    “his only goals for a league club”

    I’m sure he scored for us… against Bolton maybe?

    • almajir says:

      Certainly not in the league; can’t find any in the cups either.

      His first league goal was for Huddersfield Town in March 2000.

  • Mortonsblue says:

    Be interesting to know who, apart from goalkeepers, has the most appearances for Blues without scoring a goal?

    • almajir says:

      Pre-war it’s Frank Womack, who made 515 appearances for the club without a single goal.

      In the post-war years it’s Brian “Harry” Roberts, who made 213 appearances without scoring.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    What a wonderfully upbeat piece of posting today. I sincerely hope you had planned to put something a little more positive on here tomorrow ahead of our must win game against Blackpool. Please dear god let it be the case, as I cannot intend to much more negativity prior to this match!

    • bluenoseneil says:

      That should read contend with rather than intend to. Bloody spellchecker!

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    A Newcastle fan I worked with at the time we signed him told me that Chris had been highly rated until his eye accident. He must have some character to have overcome this and to play at the level he did.


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