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Grant Holt Interview

Grant Holt Interview


By Mick Livesey



I thought it would be a great idea to catch up with Grant Holt, a top striker and one of the owners of Touch Tackle before his semi-final in the £10,000 to-the-winner Coral Regency on Thursday 14th May. Grant's best known for scoring goals, 180 of them to be precise, but the current Wigan striker is also a massive fan of greyhound racing. Speaking with Grant, two things leapt out at me: 1) His passion for greyhound racing and his long term commitment to the sport and 2) His desire to help Wigan get promoted back to the Championship, which I'm sure will be welcome news to all Wigan fans.


Grant Holt on Touch Tackle, Greyhound Racing & Wigan Athletic 


Touch Tackle landed the Queen Mother Memorial at Sheffield how special was that for you?


'Myself, Steve (Morison) and trainer Jim Daly suffered huge disappointment last year in the St Leger when he could not take his place due to traffic. This made up for it and it was so pleasing for the dog. It was great for the kennel and you know these big races are not easy to win. It was our first major success and I really hope there are many more to come and I'm sure there will be'. 


Your in the semi-finals of the Coral Regency can Touch Tackle go all the way?


'In one word yes, it won't be easy but we would never enter him if we did not think he could win. I'd love to see him trap but failing that he just needs a clear run and if he is in touching distance around the 5th bend we believe in him and know he can do it. He's so tough and genuine and always gives it his best shot. I keep hoping he traps and I'm sure one day he will and then I think he is capable of doing something really special'.


What would be your long-term ambitions in greyhound racing? 


'We are in this for the long haul Steve and I have not chucked loads of money at it like some people think. We want to have a sustainable long-term business and are looking to breed greyhounds. Our aim is to help Jim consistently be in the top ten of the trainers list if not number-one. Jim's dream is to breed, rear and train a Derby winner we want to do everything we can to help Jim fulfil this long-term ambition. We want to help greyhound racing and help promote it, this sports is incredible and like I said we are in it for the long-term'.


How does one of your greyhounds winning compare to scoring a goal?


'Watching the dogs is like watching one of your kids on sports day, you want them to do well, enjoy it and come back safe. With Touch Tackle, for example, it's an unbelievable mix of nerves and euphoria, when he shows his brilliant back straight pace you hope he can pass without trouble and when he does it's amazing. It's right up there with scoring a goal for sure. I love greyhound racing it's an amazing sport and I want the sport to do well'.


What advice would you give to anyone thinking of getting involved in the sport?


'Do your homework and try to get some knowledge before spending your money. Greyhound racing is for everybody and you don't have to spend massive sums to get involved. It's best if you are near the trainer so you can build a relationship and go and see your dogs. Go racing and get to a track'.


Will we ever see you hands on once you've retired from football? 


'If one gets to Derby final I will parade it and probably run around with it (laughs), joking of course. No you won't I think but once I've retired (not anytime soon) you will see Steve and I at the track a lot more. It's crazy running in to bookies trying to catch the race and so on. Steve and I really do try to get to see them but this will be easier once we have retired'.


What about your own career what's next for Grant Holt?


'I'm currently injured and I've about four months left then it's simple I've one year left on my contract at Wigan. We got relegated from the Championship and the plan is to get straight back up, which is what I believe will happen. I'm looking forward to helping the team achieve promotion'.