'I feel like a kid in a sweet shop': Ian Holloway appointed Grimsby manager

Grimsby Town have appointed Ian Holloway as manager as they look to stave off the threat of relegation from League Two. The 56-year-old former Bristol Rovers, QPR, Plymouth, Leicester, Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Millwall boss, replaces Michael Jolley, who parted company with the Mariners in November following an expletive-laden rant aimed at local journalists.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Grimsby Town Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian Holloway as first team manager. With over 600 appearances as a player and taking charge of over 950 games over a 20-plus-year managerial career, Ian will bring invaluable experience to the table for the Mariners.”

Speaking to Grimsby’s in-house TV station, Holloway said: “There’ll be enough time to do gran and grampy duty as well as take on a challenge and get hold of a wonderful old football club like this and try and move it forward. I’m really, really excited about it – I can’t tell you how excited I am. I feel like a kid in a sweet shop, it’s been fantastic.”

Holloway, who has guided both Blackpool and Crystal Palace into the Premier League during his career to date, is to acquire shares in the club and join the board as part of his commitment to a long-term project, and will be assisted by Anthony Limbrick following his spell as interim manager.

Majority shareholder John Fenty said: “In an initial call to Ian lasting over two hours, it was clear he was interviewing me. He wanted to know about the project, no holds barred.” The next move in securing Holloway’s services involved fish and chips on the pier.

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“This led to a meeting at Papa’s fish restaurant in Cleethorpes. Anyone who knows Ian will know that his lovely wife Kim is always part of his decision making and she was also with us. The interview continued for another four hours, Ian wanted to know even more about the club, its workings and much more.

“Ian will soon achieve the rare personal accomplishment of 1,000 games in professional league management. Holloway will be joining the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger, Sir Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor, Brian Clough, Lawrie McMenemy, Alan Buckley and Lenny Lawrence in the history books with this milestone.

“The board believes securing someone of Ian’s experience and reputation demonstrates our commitment to bring success back to Blundell Park. We believe his track record of achieving success at unfashionable, under-performing clubs makes him an attractive long-term appointment.”

Grimsby currently lie in 21st place in the table and are without a win in 15 games in all competitions ahead of the New Year’s Day clash with Salford. Holloway has been out of football since his second spell at QPR came to a close in May 2018.


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