After months out in the football wilderness, Stuart Holden has announced his retirement from the beautiful game.
The former Bolton Wanderers, Houston Dynamo and United States national team midfielder today finally called time on a promising career that was absolutely devastated by injuries.
Holden, still only 30-years-old, hasn't stepped foot on a football pitch since the 2012-13 season and decided that today was finally time to hang up his boots.
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Shortly after signing for Bolton from the Dynamo, Holden broke his leg playing for the States against the Netherlands ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
The Aberdeen-born midfielder managed to return from that and have his best season as a pro in 2010-11, being recognized by the Guardian as one of their players of the season at the halfway, putting in some exceptional shifts for Owen Coyle's Wanderers side.
Holden didn't make it to the end of that season, however. Holden's season was ended by Manchester United's Johnny Evans in March, by a tackle that left a gash requiring 20 stitches and fracturing his femur near the knee joint.
Holden wasn't the same after that tackle from Evans at Old Trafford. He played one game in his return from that injury before being out again for six months after a routine operation revealed severe ligament damage.
After coming back from another half-year absence, Holden tore his ACL playing for the States that forced him to sit out the majority of the 2013-14 season. He came back in March of 2014 but tore his ligaments again playing for Bolton reserves. That was it.
The human spirit can only take so much heartbreak. Stuart Holden went from being one of the hottest midfielders in the EPL to only playing six league games since March 2011. His career was promising but was brutally cut short.
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