|Date of birth||7 January 1986|
|Place of birth||Fencehouses, Tyne and Wear, England|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|2005||→ Rotherham United (loan)||5||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:49, 30 November 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Grant Leadbitter (born 7 January 1986) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Football League Championship club Middlesbrough. He played for Sunderland from 2003 until 2009 after rising as a product from the team's Youth Academy before signing for Ipswich Town. In 2007 Leadbitter received a call-up for England U21, and featured for them three times.
Leadbitter grew up in Fence Houses as a Sunderland fan, and joined the Sunderland youth academy at the age of 16. He progressed through the ranks and represented England at the U19 level in 2002, scoring against Brazil to help England finish in the top four in the league tournament
Leadbitter's first professional appearance for Sunderland came as a substitute in a League Cup defeat against Huddersfield Town in September 2003. Before obtaining a regular first-team place at the club, he was loaned to Rotherham United in September 2005, where he scored once against Swansea in five league games. After his loan stay in Hibernian, he began to be selected regularly by then manager Mick McCarthy, and started in several Premier League games for the Black Cats in February 2006.
After Sunderland's relegation in 2006, Leadbitter stalled on contract talks, with many predicting he was aiming to attract the attention of a Premier League club after his impressive displays during the previous season. However, a contract was subsequently agreed with the player claiming he only ever wanted to stay with Sunderland and, henceforth, Leadbitter played an important role in the Black Cats' revival under the management of Roy Keane. Leadbitter took part in every one of Sunderland's games in the 2006–07 season and contributed seven goals, ranking as the clubs third top scorer of that season. On Sunderland's return to the Premier League, Leadbitter continued to feature regularly with Keane, even making comparisons with Paul Scholes (he allegedly wears the number 18 shirt in honour of his hero Scholes). In June 2008 Leadbitter signed a new contract with Sunderland, keeping him at the club until 2011.
On 4 October 2008, Leadbitter scored a memorable goal against Arsenal after just coming off the bench. The 25-yard goal was celebrated in emotional style, as he ran over to his manager and had his head on the floor, nearly in tears. This emotional celebration was because his father, Brian Leadbitter, had died just weeks beforehand and his ashes had been buried right on that spot under the grass on Stadium of Light. "People close to me know why I went down on the floor like I did, I just want to leave it at that. The people who know me know why I kissed that area of the ground. My dad's ashes were buried there. I don't want to go on about it. It just means a lot to me and my family. It's exactly that spot and it was always my intention to do something like that when I scored my first goal here." Leadbitter said to the press after the match.
On 1 September 2009, Leadbitter transferred to Football League Championship side Ipswich Town for a fee of £2.6 million, along with team-mate Carlos Edwards. He scored his first goal against Nottingham Forest.
After Leadbitter's contract expired in 2012 after three seasons with Ipswich, he signed another three-year contract, this time with Middlesbrough. Leadbitter scored on his debut in a 7–3 pre-season friendly win against Falkirk. He scored his first league goal on 30 November 2012 in a 2–3 away defeat against Birmingham City. Leadbitter scored twice as Boro lost 3–2 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in March 2013. After a string of consistent performances throughout the 2012–13 season, Leadbitter was awarded Middlesbrough's player of the season in his first season at the club. Leadbitter scored his fourth goal for Middlesbrough on 25 August 2013 at Wigan. On 21 September 2013, he scored Boro's final goal in a 3-3 draw at home to Bournemouth. He equalled his talley of goals from the previous season of 3 against Yeovil on 5 October, in 4-1 victory, scoring the equaliser after Middlesbrough went 1-0 after 4 minutes.
Leadbitter came on as a late substitute replacing Gabriel Agbonlahor, in a 2–0 win in England Under 21's 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification group, against Bulgaria national under-21 football team. He featured again for England U21 on 25 March 2008 and made his final appearance in a 0–0 draw against Poland U21, not being picked after that and turning 23 soon after.
- As of 25 October 2013.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Rotherham United (loan)||2005–06||League One||5||1||1||0||0||0||1[a]||0||7||1|
- Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy
- Football League Championship (II): 2007
- "Rotherham 2–2 Swansea". BBC. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
- SAFC.COM: / Team / Squad List & Profiles
- "Leadbitter signs new contract with Sunderland". www.bbc.co.uk. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- "Black Cats Pair Seal Switch". Sunderland A.F.C. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- "Grant Is First Summer Signing". Middlesbrough F.C. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Scott, Ged (30 November 2012). "Birmingham 3–2 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Match report
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Games played by Grant Leadbitter in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 September 2013.