Former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway will take advantage of his return to Queens Park Rangers by helping his son rebuild the life and career that were nearly taken from him in Bristol
Holloway Ink Tattoo Parlour was run by the manager’s son Will before in February it was set alight by two attackers who assaulted and left him.
The fire brigade succeeded in extinguishing the flames before serious damage was caused - another local tattoo parlour had been set alight six months earlier - but Will Holloway required medical attention and has since relocated to Maidenhead.
Holloway senior last week signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to succeed Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and return as manager 10 years after he left QPR and 18 months after he was sacked by Millwall, a club he said did not “get” him.
He insisted his time working as a pundit for Sky Sports - where he had the security of a three-year contract - while out of management had made him a calmer individual, before revealing his return to management also represented a new chance for his son.
“He was a tattooist, they tried to set fire to him and the shop, and then they broke our windows 10 days later,” said the 53-year-old. “The police have done nothing, so he’s now up here in Maidenhead.
“And how funny: where do you think I’m going to move to, to help him, support him? Because I was told ‘If you try hard, and try your best, you might be good enough’. My son was so good they took him out.
“In 10 months (of business), he was buzzing and he was fantastic, and they’ve taken him out. So I’m going to try and set him up up here. It ain’t right, is it? Life’s a funny thing, be careful what you wish for.”
Holloway, who will oversee his first game back at QPR at home to Norwich on Saturday, started his job by instructing his players to watch Coach Carter, the true story of an inspirational basketball coach. The film came to his attention while he was Plymouth manager.
Besides criticising the FA for undermining Gareth Southgate with a four-game trial, singing a Blackpool fans’ song and giving a warm impression of Rafa Benitez, he explained: “(A supporter) came into my office and said ‘I want you to watch this because I believe that you are doing it for the reasons this man was’.
“I watched it and ended up in tears because everything coach Carter did was real. Everything was about him trying to protect young kids to stop them ending up like his basketball mates did. They ended up dead and in prison, and it’s a true story. He believed in it enough and cared enough about those lads to lock the gym.
“He gave them exactly what you need to nurture something that you love. He gave them exercise, discipline and affection. He made them realise the privilege it is to play basketball.
“My management style is all about that. I wanted them to get it quickly to see so that when I say things... Yesterday I gave them Melinda (another film). Watch and you’ll understand.
“That’s what it’s all about. For me the club has galloped forward and I want to try and bring it back a little bit.”