Canary star Holt could miss first game for trial

NORWICH City striker Grant Holt could miss the big kick-off on Friday night - because the Canaries skipper is due in court more than 200 miles away.

The 29-year-old has been ordered to appear before magistrates in Market Drayton on Friday to face motoring charges.

If the case is completed in the morning, Holt would comfortably make the four-hour trip and be back in time for the 7.45pm kick-off against Watford.

If not Holt either faces a frantic journey, or misses the match altogether, leaving manager Paul Lambert without one of his most important players for the first match of the Championship campaign.

Holt returned to pre-season action just last weekend when he made an 18-minute appearance as a substitute in the home defeat by Everton, having been sidelined by a thigh injury.

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That absence means there is a question mark over his match fitness, but there is no doubt that Lambert will include him in his squad if he can.

Otherwise, he looks set to go with Chris Martin and summer signing Simeon Jackson, with Oli Johnson the only other recognised striker.

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Holt’s legal team tried to get the case adjourned to enable him to play, but magistrates at Shrewsbury refused his solicitor’s request.

Holt, whose address was given as Warwick Road, Carlisle, was not in court on Wednesday. He is due to appear after he denied a charge of failing to give the identity of a driver between May 1 and May 31 last year.

“Grant Holt is a professional football player for Norwich City who used to play for Shrewsbury Town,” said Paul Nicholas, for Holt.

“It is the first game of the football season this weekend and the match is going to be played live on Sky TV.

“Mr Holt is the captain of the team and the squad is due to play in Norwich. There is no way he can get to court in the required time and play in the game after court.”

But John Barnett, prosecuting, said: “We oppose this application. This case has been dragging on for some months now and we think the trial should go ahead.”

The magistrates refused to adjourn the trial, saying it could not be delayed further because of the age of the offence and previous adjournments that had already taken place.

Holt played for Shrewsbury during the time of the alleged offence and moved to Norwich last summer.

City declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

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