Grant Holt hopes the chance for a Norwich City goodbye comes with Wigan Athletic
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
While Grant Holt did not get to say goodbye to the Norwich City fans that loved him for four years, he hopes the chance will come during his time at Wigan.
The talismanic City skipper's move to the relegated Latics was confirmed on Monday night, ending a four-year stay at Carrow Road that include two promotions, three player of the season awards and 78 goals in 168 appearances.
That record makes him the sixth highest goalscorer in Canaries history. His place in City folklore complete.
'I never really got to say goodbye, to be honest,' said Holt. 'It's always difficult when you leave in the summer. You don't get to say goodbye to everyone and not just the fans, but the people at the club.
'I've made some good friends there along the way and hopefully I'll get back and see them in a few weeks' time when I go down and tie a few loose ends up.
'And then hopefully at some point we'll either get them in the cup or get us promoted this year and play them in the Premier League next year, and I'll get the chance to go back and get a good welcome.'
Holt added: 'Promotion to the Premier League at Portsmouth was a massive feat and my hat-trick against Ipswich. They're the two that stand out. Two magical nights, and you can call them that at a club like Norwich.
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'I've been very lucky, very fortunate. I've got some fantastic friends and some fantastic footballers I've worked with there and I'm really happy.'
The 32-year-old Cumbrian striker will be closer to his Carlisle-based family following the move north – and Holt admitted geography played a part in his Norfolk departure.
'It's been emotional in two ways,' he said. 'It's a great move for me personally, a three-year deal at a club that wants to progress and get back into the Premier League.
'And obviously I think a lot of people know I have been hopefully trying to get further up north as I've got older and I've finally done that.
'On the sad side, it's hard to leave Norwich. I've had four unbelievable years there. I went there when it was tough and backs to the wall, and I've made some unbelievable friends, some fantastic people who work for the football club.
'It's tough to leave and when you're used to something everyday, but I was ready for the new challenge and I'm quite happy to go.'
With Wigan relegated from the Premier League last term and losing manager Roberto Martinez to Everton, new boss Owen Coyle's task will be for an immediate return from the Championship – as well as taking on Europa League football following their FA Cup win.
'The Europe thing was a massive pull for me,' added Holt, speaking to BBC Cumbria. 'It's something I've never done in my career and I'm hoping we will get a good spell in that and get a good run.
'I've gone there for a fresh start with a club that's determined to get back up to the Premier League. He's brought in some good players and we're in good spirits.
'We've got a good club who wants to progress and get back into the Premier League and I'm hoping I can give the two pennies' worth of my experience to try to do that.
'Every noise they come out with is really positive at the club about what they want to achieve. I was speaking to the manager and he was adamant about what he wanted.
'The club is very homely. Everyone knows each other and everyone seems very polite and nice in the club, and it just seems like a good fit and I'm hoping it will be.'