Wrestling with future plans

WHEN sportsmen and women take their final curtain call, a dark void awaits them. Without another fix of adrenalin around the corner, the days of being a mere mortal drag on inter-minably, unless they can seek out another buzz to replace the lost excitement.

In a very minor comparison, when I left the Newark Advertiser after 25 years as sports editor, I went through two weeks of a very dark depression that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

Even though it was my own decision to take voluntary redundancy, it left a black hole in my life. I got through it, thanks to the help of my family and great friends like Lee Townrow and the former Grove School teacher Dave Smith who were invaluable.

So when Mick Bradley announced on our Radio Newark sports show that the recently retired Grant Holt had taken up wrestling, it filled me with a great sadness. The former Norwich City and Nottingham Forest striker clearly needed to replace the lost adrenalin.

I know Freddie Flintoff dabbled with boxing. But wrestling?! It’s one step up from joining a circus (if there are any wrestlers reading this, Mick Bradley said it).

The 37-year-old Holt spent last season as a player-coach at Barrow before ending his 19-year-old footballing career to focus on coaching at Norwich and appearances in the World Association of Wrestling.

A while ago he made a goalscoring debut for Wroxham in the Norfolk Senior Cup win over Fakenham, and then helped the Yachtsmen to victory in the Eastern Counties League, playing a part in both goals that returned Wroxham to winning ways after consecutive league defeats.

I’m pleased for him. Because at least with football, unlike wrestling, you don’t know the result beforehand.

So, no matter how bad a day you are currently experiencing as a footballer, and how unsure life may seem, try and enjoy every minute of your playing career. You are a long time retired.