No one could have foreseen Holt playing at the very top

There are so many stats floating round on a Saturday afternoon that most are instantly forgotten.

One that caught my attention - and stayed long enough in the memory bank to be able to relay it to you - was about Grant Holt.

He became only the third player this season to score a goal and be shown a red card in a Premier Division game.

For completeness, the other two were Fernando Torres and Joey Barton which puts the former Halifax Town striker in the sort of company he could only have dreamed of as a youngster.

Holt’s rise through the divisions has been remarkable and now at the age of 30 he is getting a taste of the top flight.

It is a far cry from his days as a shy, often homesick, teenager who was brought to the Shay by then scout Dave Worthington in 1999.

There was quite a fuss over his signing from Workington although the fact he was labelled as the new Geoff Horsfield, raising expectations from the Town faithful, did him few favours.

Sadly he only scored one goal for Town - against Tranmere Rovers in a League Cup tie watched by just 612 people after it was switched to Valley Parade because work on replacing the Shay floodlights had not been completed.

He made six League appearances for the Shaymen as well before he eventually returned to Cumbria to play for Barrow in the Northern Premier League.

Since then, with the odd blip here and there, his career has really taken off and I am reliably informed that one TV pundit suggested he might even be in with a chance of playing for England.

I am not sure that is going to happen, but it is great to see a lad who had a setback so early in his career make good in the end.

Watching Siddal’s Challenge Cup tie against Swinton at the Leigh Sports Village was a strange one.

The amateurs did not do themselves justice against a half decent Lions outfit.

But what really puzzled me was how Swinton survive.

There was a fair contingent of travelling fans in a crowd of 404 inside a ground that is council owned and has in the recent past staged international rugby league.

How can a Championship club survive in well appointed yet almost entirely empty surroundings?

There are plans to return to a site close to their original Station Road ground, a stadium that hosted Challenge Cup semi finals and Test matches.

On the evidence of what I saw in the stands at Leigh at the weekend, the move ‘back home’ cannot come soon enough for the club.