David Holdsworth

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David Holdsworth
Personal information
Full name David Gary Holdsworth[1]
Date of birth (1968-11-08) 8 November 1968 (age 49)
Place of birth Walthamstow, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1996 Watford 258 (10)
1996–1999 Sheffield United 93 (4)
1999–2002 Birmingham City 85 (7)
2002 Walsall (loan) 9 (1)
2002 Bolton Wanderers 0 (0)
2002–2003 Scarborough 16 (1)
2003–2005 Gretna 32 (0)
Total 493 (23)
National team
1989 England U21 1 (0)
Teams managed
2008 Ilkeston Town
2008–2010 Mansfield Town
2011–2013 Lincoln City
2013–2014 Goole
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

David Gary Holdsworth (born 8 November 1968) is an English former professional footballer turned manager.

As a player, he was a defender who played between 1986 and 2005 for Watford, Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Walsall, Bolton Wanderers and Gretna. In 2008, he moved into management and has since been in charge of Ilkeston Town, Mansfield Town, Lincoln City and Goole.

Playing career[edit]


Holdsworth started his career at Watford in the mid 1980s, going on to make more than 250 league appearances for the club. At Watford he played alongside his brother Dean Holdsworth.

Sheffield United[edit]

In October 1996, he left Watford for a new challenge at Sheffield United. In his first season, he helped United to the 1997 Football League First Division play-off Final but they were defeated by Crystal Palace. He also helped them to the 1997-98 FA Cup semi final at Old Trafford where they were defeated by Newcastle United. In the quarter final replay against Coventry City, United found themselves 1-0 down at Bramall Lane with 2 minutes left. Holdsworth popped up to equalise from a corner, sending the game to extra time and then penalties, which United went on to win.[2]

Birmingham City[edit]

In March 1999 Holdsworth transferred to Birmingham City. He helped Birmingham to the play offs at the end of that season where they faced his former club Watford. However Holdsworth was sent off as they lost on penalties.[3] He spent three full seasons there, helping them to the 2001 League Cup Final in which he was an unused substitute in the defeat to Liverpool.

In January 2002 he went on loan to Walsall. At Walsall he scored once against Coventry[4] but was sent off twice in 3-0 defeats to Sheffield Wednesday[5] and Wolves.[6]

Later career[edit]

After being released by Birmingham in 2002, he joined Bolton Wanderers on a free transfer where he played alongside his brother Dean again. However, he only made one appearance for the Trotters: in a League Cup defeat to Bury (David started and his brother Dean came on as a substitute).[7] Shortly afterwards he joined Scarborough in the Football Conference and then Scottish club Gretna where he retired. Whilst at Gretna he scored once, his goal coming in the Scottish Cup against Dumbarton.[8]

International career[edit]

He was capped once for England at Under-21 level.

Managerial career[edit]

After retiring from playing he became reserve team manager at Gretna, where he was appointed director of youth development in May 2006,[9] but was sacked in a cost-cutting exercise a few months later.[10] On 20 May 2008, Holdsworth was appointed to his first managerial role, taking over at Northern Premier League Premier Division side Ilkeston Town from Nigel Jemson, the first appointment of new owner Check Whyte.[11]

On 29 December 2008 Holdsworth was appointed as the new manager of Conference National club Mansfield Town having led Ilkeston to sixth in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, ten points off first placed Hednesford Town with two games in hand.[12]

On 18 November 2010, it was announced that Holdsworth had agreed to leave Field Mill by mutual consent after less than two years with the club.[13]

On 24 October 2011, Holdsworth was named Lincoln City manager until the end of the 2011–12 season, replacing Steve Tilson. He left the club by mutual consent on Sunday 17 February 2013, leaving Lincoln 18th in the Conference Premier.[14]

On 14 October 2013, he returned to management with Goole with his former Sheffield United teammate Curtis Woodhouse acting as his assistant.[15] Holdsworth stepped down as Goole manager on 27 January 2014 with Woodhouse taking over the role.[16]

Personal life[edit]

His twin brother Dean Holdsworth is also a footballer turned football manager. On 18 September 2010, they became the first twins to manage against each other in the top five divisions of English football, when Dean was manager of Newport County and David manager of Mansfield Town.[17] Newport won the match 1–0.

David Holdsworth's house was featured on an episode of Through the Keyhole.[18]


  1. ^ "David Holdsworth". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Arsenal and Sheffield United through on penalties". BBC. 18 March 1998. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Hornets sting the Blues". BBC. 20 May 1999. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Coventry 2-1 Walsall". BBC. 19 February 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Walsall 0-3 Sheff Wed". BBC. 9 February 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wolves 3-0 Walsall". BBC. 26 February 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Bolton 0-1 Bury". BBC. 2 October 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gretna 4-0 Dumbarton". BBC. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Gretna youth role for Holdsworth". BBC Sport. 19 May 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  10. ^ "Gretna sack youth directors in cash drive". The Scotsman. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "New regime hails exciting future for Ilkeston Town". Ilkeston Advertiser. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008. 
  12. ^ "Mansfield name Holdsworth as boss". BBC Sport. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Boss David Holdsworth leaves Mansfield Town". BBC Sport. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Imps appoint David Holdsworth". Non-League Daily. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "New chairman and management team announced". Goole A.F.C. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  16. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25912452
  17. ^ "Newport County 1–0 Mansfield Town". BBC Sport. 18 September 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Letters, WSC 187

External links[edit]