Ian Holloway (born March 12 1963) has tasted modest success as both player and manager, but is best known for his comic abilities.
A funny little man with a bony skull and a prominent Bristolian accent, he became celebrated for his colourful post-match statements.
He famously compared a victory at Chesterfield to a bout of sex with an ugly woman in a taxi, and in a less successful sequel allegedly described a 5-1 win over Millwall as ‘similar to gang-banging a Czech girl on holiday’. At the height of his success, his press conferences drew international television audiences of millions, and he played ten sold-out nights at the 2300-seater London Palladium. In America, he presented Saturday Night Live and hosted the Oscars.
Bizarre Relationship With Leicester City Ruins Career
Holloway’s fusion of comedy and football took a bizarre twist when, after hugely popular spells at lower-league makeweights Bristol Rovers and over-ambitious West London club QPR, he inexplicably began to focus every aspect of his life and work on Leicester City. He was suspended on ‘gardening leave’ from QPR because persistent rumours linked him with the Leicester job, even though Leicester were no better than QPR and there was no real reason for him to go there. In the end, the job went to a man called Rob Kelly who no-one remembers, and Holloway became manager of Plymouth.
And yet Holloway only briefly eased off from his needless quest for control of Leicester. When Rob Kelly was sacked by mad, stupid oligarch Milan Mandaric, who was at that point pretending he cared about football, Holloway sensationally seized his chance, leaving Plymouth mid-season and going to the Midlands to live out his strange dream. He repeatedly described the Foxes as ‘a great club’ despite a total lack of evidence for this, and confidently predicted promotion to the Premier League.
Instead, Leicester quickly embarked on an appalling run and were relegated to League One. Holloway left his personal Mecca after only a few months in charge. Even as he left, Holloway maintained that Leicester ‘would always be close to his heart’ although he had barely been there long enough to find his way confidently from his office to the pitch. He also stated that the fans deserve ‘a lot, lot better’, but, again, was not able to say why he thought this. He explained Leicester’s astonishing gallop to relegation by saying he had ‘run out of time’, although records show the season was, in fact, the usual length.
To this day it is not known whether Holloway had – as some people think – confused Leicester with a club like Chelsea or something, and was then too embarrassed to backtrack; or whether this was simply his final and most elaborate joke.
Shitty Old Book
There is a book of Holloway’s funniest quotations entitled Let’s Have Coffee. It’s one of these rush jobs where a hack just collects someone else’s witticisms and shoves it in Waterstone’s ‘Half-Arsed Stocking-Fillers’ section. At Christmas 2005 an estimated 20,000 people panic-bought it for the football fan in their family, after realising they’d already used ‘Des Lynam’s Craziest Things To Happen In Football’ the previous Christmas.