On the Eve of the 2009 season, the Houston Dynamo has lost an important member of its extended family. On February 16, 2009, Brian Holden, father of Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden, passed away at his home in Sugar Land, Texas. Mr. Holden, who was born in Wigan, England, had battled pancreatic cancer for the past six years. The Holden family has been involved with the Dynamo since the team moved to Houston from San Jose, attending matches and team events, and working with the team in the community.
The Holden family and close friends will celebrate the life of Brian Holden at a private ceremony on Friday February 20th, and the Houston Dynamo will observe a moment of silence in honor of Mr. Holden prior to Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Atalante. The various supporter groups associated with the Houston Dynamo are likely to make their own special observances directed towards Stuart Holden in honor of his late father.
In addition to his son Stuart, Mr. Holden is survived by his wife of 27 years, Moira, his son Euan, daughter Rachel, and his parents Donald and Marion, as well as his extended family still in the Wigan area.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to cancer research, in particular the family has requested that donors utilize Dynamo Charities. Additionally, donations can be made to Holden’s Heroes, which is Stuart Holden’s charity and focuses on bringing joy into the lives of sick children.
While the behind the scenes view afforded to sports journalists can lead to cynicism and disenchantment, I can honestly say that it is always a joy to interview Stuart Holden, whether in the locker room or in the studio, and spend time with him at social events. Despite his youth, Stuart Holden is true professional when it comes to his role with the Dynamo and a great ambassador for the club. With the departure of Dwayne De Rosario, Stuart is about to embark on a new chapter of his career and it is a shame that his father will not be in the stands this season, beaming with pride and rooting the Dynamo on to victory. However, I am sure that the arc of Stuart’s career, including scoring a goal at the 2008 Olympics, has made his father proud and that his father departed this world with a sense of just how far his son can go in the Beautiful Game.