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‘I was always better with a crowd’: City legend Grant Holt to make singles wrestling debut

Grant Holt with rising wrestling star Ricky Knight Jr. Holt makes his wrestling singles debut on Saturday December 22 at Epic Studios, Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Grant Holt with rising wrestling star Ricky Knight Jr. Holt makes his wrestling singles debut on Saturday December 22 at Epic Studios, Norwich. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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He made himself a legend with Norwich City fans due to his love for rough and tumble in Premier League penalty areas.

Now Canaries legend Grant Holt is using his grappling skills in the wrestling ring - and makes his singles debut next week.

The former striker has already had a taste of success after winning the World Association of Wrestling’s (WAW) 40-man rumble earlier this year.

But on December 22 he enters the ring for the first time as a solo competitor, where he will face Brad O’Brien.

The match takes place at Epic Studios in Norwich as part of WAW’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ event.

Learning the hard way. Grant Holt has been coached by Ricky Knight Jr - rising wrestling star and nephew to WWE star Paige. Picture: Neil DidsburyLearning the hard way. Grant Holt has been coached by Ricky Knight Jr - rising wrestling star and nephew to WWE star Paige. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Holt said: “I’m really looking forward to next week. There will obviously be a bit of nerves because it is the first time I have stepped in the ring properly in terms of doing my own fight.

“But in football I was always better with a crowd so I hope I will rise to it next week.”

The 37-year-old said while wrestling was tough, he fully enjoyed it.

“When you get home you can certainly feel it,” Mr Holt said.

A relaxing retirement?  No chance. Former Norwich City player Grant Holt is enjoying the challenge of professional wrestling after 19 years in football. Picture: Neil DidsburyA relaxing retirement? No chance. Former Norwich City player Grant Holt is enjoying the challenge of professional wrestling after 19 years in football. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“I still do the football to keep the endurance levels up and then I do this for all the power.

“I’m enjoying it, and I have a smile on my face. The first thing people ask me about now is the wrestling before they ask me about the football, which is good as it shows wrestling is getting back out there.”

When asked if he had a message for Brad O’Brien, Mr Holt said: “He already knows what is going to happen next weekend because he felt the raw power last weekend.”

Zak Knight, wrestler and co-owner of WAW, said: “He [Grant Holt] met the family had a 10 minute session in the ring and loved it.

Doing it all with a smile on his face, former Norwich City player Grant Holt says he is enjoying wrestling alongside his other football commitments. Picture: Neil DidsburyDoing it all with a smile on his face, former Norwich City player Grant Holt says he is enjoying wrestling alongside his other football commitments. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“From there he has won the 40 man memorial trophy and is set to make his single’s debut in 10 days time.”

In September Holt made his debut in the world of wrestling when he appeared as a surprise entrance into WAW British Wrestling’s 40-man rumble.

His debut was expected at Fightmare 3 in 2019, to give him time to train, but he climbed in the ring almost a year early.

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