Holdsworth pictured in September 2007.
|Full name||Dean Christopher Holdsworth|
|Date of birth||8 November 1968|
|Place of birth||Walthamstow, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|1988||→ Carlisle United (loan)||4||(1)|
|1988||→ Port Vale (loan)||6||(2)|
|1988||→ Swansea City (loan)||5||(1)|
|1988||→ Brentford (loan)||7||(1)|
|2002||→ Coventry City (loan)||6||(0)|
|2003||Rushden & Diamonds||7||(2)|
|2004–2005||Havant & Waterlooville||48||(25)|
|2005–2006||Derby County (Assistant)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Dean Christopher Holdsworth (born 8 November 1968) is an English former professional football player and manager. As a striker he scored 193 goals in 610 league games over a 22-year career. Despite playing for 16 clubs in 19 spells the majority of his goals and appearances came at Brentford, Wimbledon, and Bolton Wanderers. He is the twin brother of David Holdsworth.
As a player he started his career at Watford in 1986, where he spent three years before signing with Brentford, following a short loan spell. A highly successful three years followed before he was signed by Wimbledon in 1992. After an impressive five-year spell he transferred to Bolton Wanderers. He spent six years at Bolton, before in 2003 joining Coventry City, Rushden & Diamonds and then back to Wimbledon. In 2004 he signed with Havant & Waterlooville, where he spent one season before joining Derby County. In 2006 he dropped out of the Football League for the final time, joining Weymouth. Short spells followed at Heybridge Swifts, Cambridge United, and Newport County.
His management career started at Redbridge in 2007. After one season there he took the reins at Newport County. In his second season with the club he took them to the Conference South title with 28 points to spare. In January 2011 he switched clubs to take charge at League Two side Aldershot Town until his dismissal in February 2013. He took charge at Chelmsford City in May 2013, before resigning five months later. He returned to management for a five month spell with Brentwood Town in June 2015.
Holdsworth primarily played as a striker, although in the latter part of his career he tended to play off the front man. He was a pacey striker with good shooting ability. He started his career at Watford, who finished ninth in the First Division in 1986–87 under Graham Taylor's stewardship, before suffering relegation in 1987–88 under Dave Bassett and then Steve Harrison. He was loaned out to Carlisle United towards the end of the campaign, and scored once in four Fourth Division games for Clive Middlemass. He joined John Rudge's Port Vale in March, and scored twice at Vale Park in six Third Division appearances. He started 1988–89 on loan at Terry Yorath's Swansea City, and returned to Vicarage Road after one goal in five Third Division games. He then joined Steve Perryman's Brentford on loan, before joining the club permanently for £125,000 in September 1989.
He was to prove himself as a prolific goalscorer for the "Bees", as the club moved from 13th in 1989–90 to the play-offs in 1990–91, before Holdsworth scored 38 goals in the Third Division championship winning season of 1991–92, in a fruitful partnership with Gary Blissett. For this achievement he was named on the PFA Team of the Year. Phil Holder was unable to keep him at Griffin Park following these exploits.
He signed for Joe Kinnear's Wimbledon in the summer of 1992 for £650,000. He 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, after 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. However, 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. He hit nine goals in 1996–97, before he was signed to Bolton Wanderers in October 1997 for £3.5million, which was a record signing for Bolton at that time.
He scored just three goals in 17 Premier League starts in 1997–98, as Colin Todd's side slipped out of the top-flight after finishing 18th, behind 17th place Everton on goal difference. He rediscovered his scoring touch in the First Division, hitting 12 goals in 26 starts in 1998–99. He then hit 14 goals from 24 league starts in 1999–2000, as Sam Allardyce led Bolton to the semi-finals of the play-offs, the FA Cup and the League Cup. He scored 15 goals from 29 starts in 2000–01, including a hat-trick past Scunthorpe United in a 5–1 win at the Reebok Stadium. The "Trotters" 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 2001–02, scoring once each against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. He made ten goalless appearances in 2002–03, though was briefly joined in Lancashire by his brother David for the first time since leaving Watford.
He joined Coventry City on loan in December 2002, making six goalless appearances, before he signed permanently for the club the following month. He scored once in the FA Cup against Cardiff City, but failed to find the net in his 11 league games and moved on to Brian Talbot's Rushden & Diamonds in March. Diamonds topped the Third Division in 2002–03, though Holdsworth left Nene Park in the summer. He returned to Wimbledon for the 2003–04 campaign, as the club relocated to Milton Keynes. He scored three goals in 28 games in 2003–04. He then spent the 2004–05 season with Havant & Waterlooville in the Conference South. He then joined Derby County, where he was appointed as assistant manager, but played as a striker during an injury crisis, leaving the club when manager Phil Brown was sacked in January 2006. He then joined Heybridge Swifts via Weymouth (Conference National). After spending 2006–07 in the Isthmian League with the Swifts,he returned to the Conference with Cambridge United in the new year. Holdsworth joined Newport County on a short-term contract in February 2007, and was released by manager Peter Beadle at the end of the 2006–07 season, after playing in the 2007 FAW Premier Cup Final defeat to The New Saints.
Holdsworth was appointed as player-manager of Isthmian League Division One North club Redbridge in July 2007. The club finished third in 2007–08, before losing to Canvey Island in the play-off final, following a penalty shoot-out.
He made a return to Newport County in May 2008 as their new manager in succession to Peter Beadle, after handing in his resignation at Redbridge. He also relocated to Worcester to accommodate his new role at Newport. After a poor start to the 2008–09 season, Newport improved in the second half of the season to finish tenth in the league. Holdsworth was awarded the Conference South Manager of the Month award for April 2009. His signings included Craig Reid, Danny Rose, Paul Bignot, Jamie Collins, Charlie Henry, Sam Foley and Gary Warren.
In September 2009 Holdsworth was again named the Conference South Manager of the Month after Newport County started the 2009–10 season with a run of 13 league matches unbeaten. He also won the awards for November 2009 and February 2010. On 15 March 2010, Newport County achieved promotion to the Conference National as champions with seven matches remaining and completed the season with a record 103 points, 28 points ahead of second placed Dover Athletic.
In June 2010, Holdsworth signed a new two-year contract with Newport, and was also awarded the Conference South Manager of the Year Award. Holdsworth was selected as Conference National Manager of the Month for September 2010 after a run of five consecutive wins for Newport County. He left the club in January of the 2010–11 campaign, with Newport County lying in the play-off zone of the Conference National. The "Exiles" finished the season in ninth place under Anthony Hudson's stewardship.
In January 2011 he was announced as the new manager of League Two side Aldershot Town. Holdsworth wasted no time making his mark on the team, bringing in forwards Peter Vincenti, Tim Sills, and Alex Rodman – as well as defender Simon Grand on loan from Fleetwood – before the end of the month. There were also players leaving the club during this period of transition, with both Glen Little and Wesley Ngo Baheng being released, whilst Anthony Straker and Damian Spencer were sent out on loan. Holdsworth's first game in charge resulted in a creditable 1–1 draw away to high-flying Bury, and he also improved on Aldershot's poor home form; winning his first game at "The Rec" 1–0 against Bradford City, whilst a last-minute Luke Guttridge free-kick gave the "Shots" a second consecutive home win 3–2 against Crewe. He continued attempting to strengthen the squad throughout February, with loan signings Albert Jarrett and Luke Medley from Lincoln and Mansfield respectively, though neither had a large impact on the team with only a handful of appearances between them. Holdsworth also signed former "Shots" goalkeeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, who made 62 appearances in a previous spell at the club. On the pitch, Aldershot went on a run of five consecutive draws, the first away to league leaders Chesterfield who required a late equaliser to rescue a point.
His team went unbeaten throughout March to virtually ensure the club's survival in the Football League. The upturn in form prompted speculation that the team could mount a charge for the play-offs. Though the club could only draw in their final game of the month at home to Accrington Stanley, Aldershot were left only seven points behind seventh placed Rotherham United. March also saw defender Jamie Vincent released from the club after not featuring in Holdsworth's first team plans, as well as a first team opportunity for youth team winger Adam Mekki. The "Shots" continued their unbeaten run into the first half of April, before defeat finally came at home to Burton Albion. At the end of the campaign Aldershot posted a comfortable mid-table finish, and Holdsworth handed out contracts to young players Adam Mekki, Doug Bergqvist and Henrik Breimyr. He also released nine players in Ben Harding, John Halls, Marvin Morgan, Damian Spencer, Tim Sills, Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Wade Small, Clayton Fortune, and Jack Randall.
He assembled a number of free signings to replenish his squad: strikers Bradley Bubb and Michael Rankine; midfielders Anthony Pulis and Graeme Montgomery; defenders Aaron Brown and Jamie Collins; and goalkeeper Ross Worner. He also brought in a total of eight loanees in the first half of the season: Jake Taylor, Jordan Brown, Bruno Andrade, Adam Smith, Scott Davies, Jamie Day, Greg Pearson and Charlie Henry. His team proved to be inconsistent, though they did reach the Fourth Round of the League Cup, where they were beaten 3–0 by a Manchester United side that included Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, and Antonio Valencia. In the January transfer window he released Graeme Montgomery and Anthony Pulis, whilst making four new loan signings in defenders Troy Brown and Sonny Bradley, midfielder Josh Payne, and striker Charlie Collins. He also recruited defender Chris Doig, and attempted to bolster his side's poor goalscoring record by paying a five figure fee for Cameroonian striker Guy Madjo. He also signed Stefan Payne, Wilko Risser and Josh Payne, as well as loanees Ben Smith, Darren Murphy, Michael Doughty, and Rob Sinclair. To make room for these signings he offloaded Jermaine McGlashan, Jamie Collins, Luke Guttridge, Chris Doig and Aaron Brown. The "Shots" finished the season just outside the play-offs.
Holdsworth signed a new one-year extension to his contract with the club in June 2012, tying him to the club until summer 2014. The next month he rejected the opportunity to take over as manager of League One club Crawley Town. Over the summer he signed goalkeeper Glenn Morris, defenders Oliver Lancashire and Guy Branston, and midfielders Craig Stanley and Harry Cooksley. Holdsworth targeted the play-offs for the 2012–13 season, though said that "our aim is, first and foremost, staying in the division." Over the course of the season he also added Sonny Bradley (on loan), Danny Rose (on loan), Kieron Cadogan, Oliver Risser, Asa Hall (on loan), and Anthony McNamee to his squad. He led Aldershot to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club's history. On 20 February 2013 he was sacked by Aldershot, three days after his twin brother David Holdsworth was sacked as manager of Lincoln City, and one day after Aldershot recorded a 1–0 victory over Torquay United. At the time of his sacking Aldershot were in 20th position in League Two having taken only seven points from the last seven games.
Holdsworth was appointed manager at Conference South side Chelmsford City in May 2013. However, after eight defeats in 13 league games his contract with Chelmsford was ended by mutual consent in November 2013.
He was appointed director of football at Isthmian League Premier club Brentwood Town in June 2015, and also took up the vacant management role at the club. He resigned in November 2015 due to his growing business commitments. His primary focus was as a business consultant for Sport Shield Consultancy, a consortium seeking to buy into Bolton Wanderers.
Holdsworth was involved in tabloid scandal in 1996 when he had a highly publicised extramarital affair with topless model Linsey Dawn McKenzie, who was then aged 17. In December 1999 he was sentenced to 18 months probation for punching his wife Samantha Holdsworth.
Holdsworth appeared in reality television series Deadline where ten celebrities had to produce their own weekly celebrity magazine. He was the sixth celebrity to be sacked by Janet Street-Porter. He also participated in the second series of Sky1 reality TV series Cirque de Celebrité. He was voted out by the judges in the first episode on 7 October 2007. Tamara (another contestant) joined him in the bottom two, but was voted to stay in the competition by the three judges. However, because of a technical fault with the voting, Dean was asked to re-join the show.
Holdsworth remarried Susanna Cobham and they live in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. Holdsworth is also father to sons Bradly and Jordan.
David Holdsworth, who was also a professional footballer is Dean's twin brother. 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 – Newport won the match 1–0.
- As of 7 November 2015
|Redbridge||July 2007||May 2008||57||28||10||19||49.12|
|Newport County||May 2008||January 2011||125||65||30||30||52.00|
|Aldershot Town||11 January 2011||20 February 2013||118||42||34||42||35.59|
|Chelmsford City||May 2013||November 2013||15||5||1||9||33.33|
|Brentwood Town||June 2015||November 2015||25||10||2||13||40.00|
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