Broken Leg Hampered Holden Progress

Last updated : 29 January 2005 By Mark Heys
Oldham Athletic skipper Dean Holden would have still been plying his trade for Bolton Wanderers had he not suffered a serious leg injury that was to keep him out of action for over a year according to Sam Allardyce.

The Wanderers boss Allardyce believes that the broken leg suffered by Holden against Sheffield United in March 2000 hampered the full back's progress in football, but he has backed his former player to continue to make a success of things with the Trotters FA Cup opponents.

Holden moved onto Oldham initially on loan in October 2001 before securing a permanent move to Boundary Park the following summer. At one point the player and his TV presenter girlfriend Danielle Nicholls struggled to pay their bills as the Latics went through a financial crisis, but Allardyce says this is a side of football people often fail to see.

"Dean is one of unluckiest players I have ever worked with. He started playing on a regular basis for us and slipped into the right-back slot.Then he got his leg broken against Sheffield United and that left its legacy. Dean struggled to cope to get back to the level that we needed."

"Dean is carving out a career at Oldham which I am glad about, An injury may be only around the corner and your career can be devastated in one instance. People talk about the glamour at the top end but that is only three per cent. The rest of the lads are working hard, enjoying football and earning a moderate salary.Deano could have earned a fantastic living at this club and might still have been number one right-back had he not broken his leg." Allardyce reflected.