Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Thursday May 21 2009
Ian Holloway was born in Bristol in 1963, and grew up in a council house where his mother still lives. His father was an amateur footballer, seaman and factory worker. At school, he became great friends with Gary Penrice, who has since gone on to work with him at Bristol Rovers, QPR, Plymouth and Leicester, but is currently a scout for Stoke City and is not expected to follow Olly to Bloomfield Road, although his knowledge will no doubt be called upon informally.
Holloway began his football career at Bristol Rovers, signing on as an apprentice. He became a professional in March 1981, making his debut later that year. After starring on the right hand side of midfield, Olly was snapped up by Wimbledon for £35,000 in July 1985. He then moved to Brentford and Torquay before returning to Bristol Rovers in August 1987. In 1991 he moved to QPR for £230,000, before once again returning to Bristol Rovers in 1996 as player-manager.
In his second season in charge of the club, he led them to the Division Two playoffs, where they lost 4-3 to Northampton Town. In February 2001 he moved to QPR, but failed to keep them in Division One, finishing second bottom. Rangers were then promoted back to the second tier in 2004, finishing second.
Back in The Championship, Holloway guided Rangers to a 11th place finish, but the following season was suspended by the club after he was continuously linked to the Leicester City job.
In June 2006 he moved to Plymouth, and after winning his first away game at the club (a 3-2 win at Sunderland), Olly offered to buy all of the travelling Plymouth fans a drink… something that certain sections of the Pool faithful will be hoping that he repeats!
His time at Plymouth was marked by some great attacking football from players like David Norris, Akos Buszaky, Peter Halmosi, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Dan Gosling as Plymouth continually just missed out of the playoffs. However, as the team started to be broken up, Holloway decided to head for pastures new, becoming the manager of Leicester City.
Leicester won just nine out of his thirty two games in charge however, and were relegated from The Championship; Holloway parted company with The Foxes soon after.
Since then, Holloway has been a regular pundit both on Sky Sports and Radio 5 Live.
Away from football, he is married to childhood sweetheart Kim and they have four children: William, twins Eve and Chloe, and Harriet. Apart from William, all of Holloway`s children are deaf and as a result, Holloway has adapted his career around his children, becoming a campaigner on the behalf of charities for the death, and learning sign language.
He is somewhat of a cult personality in the media for his sometimes outlandish quotes, and in June 2006 he came out ahead of Paul Merton and Ali G in a poll to discover London`s funniest person.
Ian Holloway, welcome to Blackpool.
Date:Thursday May 21 2009
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