George Holt Obituary, Death – He was the club’s oldest surviving Football League player at the time. Holt, a nippy inside-forward, was a local youngster who created a name for himself with his hometown club and became a crucial component during Halifax Town’s epic FA Cup run of 1952-53, when the club reached the fifth round. Holt was born in Halifax but raised in Southowram before joining local powerhouse RES Gym. He represented Yorkshire Under 16s and Under 18s before embarking on nearly three years of national service, during which time he represented Aldershot Reserves, playing one game in front of 15,000 at Portsmouth.
While on vacation, Holt approached Town manager Jack Breedon for a trial, and after only two reserve team appearances, he was drafted into the Mansfield Town first team on February 27, 1948. Town lost 3-1, and Holt’s injury in that game ruined an otherwise spectacular twenty-first birthday. He returned to the side the next term before rejoining the troops, and after doing his time, he came home and played for another top local team, Shaw Lodge. Holt was persuaded to play for Halifax Town by new manager Billy Wootton, and he signed as a part-time professional, a status he maintained for the rest of his stay with the club. Holt scored the opening goal of Town’s epic 1952-53 FA Cup run, putting his side up against Ashton United in the first round, though a replay was required before Town advanced to the second round, when he also scored in the 4-2 defeat of Southport. He was then a member of the side that stunned top-flight Cardiff City and Stoke City in front of big Shay crowds.
However, Holt sustained an eye injury in a match with Grimsby Town a week before the scheduled fifth round meeting with Tottenham Hotspur, and despite manager Gerry Henry begging with him to play against Spurs, Holt declined, fearing irreparable damage to his eye, and Town lost the match 3-0 without him. Missed that game was undoubtedly Holt’s biggest regret in football, and while he returned to the team, he was unfortunate to be injured again in the first encounter of the 1953-54 season. His torn Achilles would keep him out until December, and any subsequent appearances would be brief. Although being signed for the following season, Holt chose to focus on his career – he was a butcher by trade – and never played again, leaving Halifax Town with 66 games and fourteen goals to his record. He went on to start George Holt’s Pies in Southowram, employing up to 32 people before retiring in 1989. Holt enjoyed bowling and in 1968 At Blackpool, they made it to the last sixteen of the Waterloo Championships.