Lee Grant (footballer, born 1983)
Grant in 2006
|Full name||Lee Anderson Grant|
|Date of birth||27 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Hemel Hempstead, England|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2005–2006||→ Burnley (loan)||1||(0)|
|2006||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||16||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:42, 2 June 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Lee Anderson Grant (born 27 January 1983) is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Derby County. Grant has also previously played for the England national under-21 football team, spent eight years at Derby County, and had a remarkable run of 136 straight games for Sheffield Wednesday. He has now returned to Derby County after agreeing a three-year deal.
He has been widely praised by the Media during the 2008/09 season and the England goalkeeping coaches Ray Clemence and Franco Tancredi have visited Hillsborough on more than one occasion to take a closer look at the 'keeper. Grant has been tipped by many[who?] to win full honours for England in the future.
Grant began his career at Watford in 1998 but failed to make an appearance for the Hertfordshire based club and Grant joined Derby County as a trainee in 2000 and made his debut for the Rams in the 2002–03 season in a Championship game against Burnley on 7 September 2002, replacing the injured Andy Oakes. He went on to win the club's Young Player of the Year award at the end of the season after playing a total of thirty games. By the end of the season Grant had established himself as a regular in the England youth set-up, and joined the under-21 team for a training session in Sardinia prior to the European Championship qualifying games against Serbia & Montenegro and Slovakia in June 2003.
Grant finally made his debut for England under-21s on 9 September 2003 after Chris Kirkland injured himself during the pre-match warm-up prior to the European Championship qualifier against Portugal, and went on to make a further three appearances for the youth side. Meanwhile a string of good performances for Derby following another injury to Andy Oakes earned him a three and a half-year contract extension on 29 January 2004. Grant was voted into fourth place in the fan's Player of the Year award at the end of the 2003–04 season.
Derby's young 'keeper Lee Camp was given a chance during the 2004–05 pre-season after a highly successful loan spell at QPR the previous season. Camp impressed in the game and as a result Grant found himself on the bench at the start of the season despite his recent good form. The move led to press reports that Grant was surplus to requirements at Pride Park, however manager George Burley dismissed the story as "total speculation with no basis in fact". Around the same time Grant also found himself ousted from the England under-21 squad by Camp. Grant would have to wait until 19 October to make his first appearance of the season for Derby, when he replaced Lee Camp in goal following Camp's sending-off against Wolves. Grant went on to start the following match against Burnley whilst Camp served a suspension for the red card, but would not play another first team game for the remainder of the season. Lee Camp sympathised with Grant at the time, saying "It's tough for Granty and I would be frustrated in his situation. He came in for the Burnley game and did nothing wrong but I think I've done enough this season to warrant my place in the side".
Grant's woes were added to when he suffered a wrist injury in training in March 2005. The injury was followed by a shoulder problem the following month which required surgery and kept the goalkeeper out of action for several months.
Grant was given a chance by new Derby boss Phil Brown during the 2005–06 pre-season, but was again relegated to the bench by the start of the season. He played his first game of the season on 24 August 2005 as Derby crashed out of the League Cup at the hands of Grimsby Town. Another injury followed a fortnight later when Grant fractured his metatarsal during training, and was out of action for another two weeks.
Burnley (on loan)
After playing just three games in 18 months, Grant was allowed to join Championship club Burnley on a one-month loan on 15 November 2005 as cover for the suspended Brian Jensen. Grant went straight into the team and made his debut for Burnley against Leicester City on 19 November, but despite a one-month extension to the loan, Grant failed to force Jensen out as first choice 'keeper and did not play again for the first team before returning to Derby. Grant returned to his parent club on 14 January 2006 with Burnley manager Steve Cotterill claiming that the club were unable to continue to pay his high wages and that "he may go on loan somewhere else where he will play all the time".
Oldham Athletic (on loan)
On 31 January 2006 he was loaned by Derby to League One team Oldham Athletic on a deal until the end of the season. Oldham manager Ronnie Moore revealed at the time that he feared that the deal would collapse after being agreed by Phil Brown following Brown's sacking as Derby manager on 30 January, however Derby honoured the deal which had already been agreed and the transfer was completed. The deal forced Lance Cronin out of the club as Oldham were unable to pay the wages of three senior goalkeepers. Grant made his debut for the Lactics in the 1–0 home defeat to Port Vale on 4 February 2006. He quickly established himself as first choice goalkeeper and went on to make a total of sixteen league appearances for Oldham. In March 2006 Moore revealed that he was looking at making Grant's transfer permanent, but despite the player stating that he would like to make the switch permanent, no offer was made following Moore departing Oldham on 1 June 2006.
Return from loans
Grant was again given a chance during the 2006–07 pre-season, and Derby manager Billy Davies awarded him with a starting place for the club's second league game of the season against Stoke City on 8 August 2006. However, the arrival of Stephen Bywater on 12 August 2006 further limited Grant's first team opportunities. Following Bywater picking up a thigh injury and Camp's loan move to Norwich City, Grant was able to string together six appearances in September and October 2006, but after Bywater's return to fitness he was again left out of the team until his final appearance for Derby against Ipswich Town on 14 April 2007 when he replaced Bywater who had been shown the red card. Bywater was handed a one-match ban, however Lee Camp was recalled from his loan and took his place in the following match. Grant's contract expired on 2 July 2007 and an extension was not offered by Derby.
Grant signed a three-year contract with Championship club Sheffield Wednesday on 2 July 2007, joining at the same time as another young 'keeper, Robert Burch. Despite goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer stating that there would be "no number one or number two", Grant was given the number one shirt and, despite some poor early form, established himself as first choice goalkeeper. He made his debut on 11 August 2007 in the 4–1 loss to Ipswich Town. Grant was praised by Brian Laws after the Queens Park Rangers game on 24 November 2007 after making a string of excellent saves, with the manager stating "It was a performance which gives encouragement to everybody and shows what a good goalkeeper Lee Grant can be." Laws again heaped praise on his goalkeeper on 1 January 2008, claiming that he has "probably been the most outstanding keeper in the league in terms of current form." Grant played an integral part in maintaining Sheffield Wednesday's Championship status during the 2007–08 campaign with many excellent performances including a crucial and memorable save on the final day against Norwich City at Hillsborough.
In the 2008–09 campaign, Grant won PFA Fans' Championship player of the Month on top of being Wednesdays' current player of the year. In the second Steel City derby of the season Grant pulled off another memorable save from Billy Sharp holding onto Wednesdays' 2–1 lead and complete their first League double over the Blades for 95 years.
On 15 January 2009, England goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas hinted on a visit to the Owls Middlewood Road training ground that Grant was on the national teams radar, quoting "Lee Grant is certainly in our system. He has the ability, he's a great professional and I'm sure he has the ambition. We just hope he continues to progress and eventually move into the England squad".
|This section requires expansion. (May 2013)|
On 27 July 2010 Grant completed a return to his former loan club for around £1m, after three earlier bids failed. He linked up with former Owls boss Brian Laws as his fourth summer signing at Turf Moor as backup to Brian Jensen. Grant played 130 times for Burnley in a 3-year spell and won the fans player of the season award in 2012–13.
Return to Derby County
On 7 May 2013, it was confirmed the Grant would return to Derby County on a three-year contract after his contract with Burnley expired on 1 July 2013. Grant went into the 2013–14 season as the first choice goalkeeper and has played every minute of every league and cup game so far this season. He made his first appearance for Derby in over six years in a 1–1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on 4 August and kept his first clean sheet of the season two days later, pulling off several saves as Derby beat Oldham Athletic 1–0 in the first round of the League Cup. In the following game, he made an important late save to ensure the club's first league victory of the season, in a 2–1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion. In a match against Leicester City on 17 August, he recorded two good saves in the first half but conceded an "unlucky" own goal in the second half as Derby were defeated 1–0.
He made another good save in a 3–0 win at Yeovil Town on 24 August and kept his third clean sheet of the season in a 5–0 win over Brentford on 27 August but was at fault for a goal in Derby's 2–2 draw at Bolton Wanderers on 17 September. He made a string of saves and denied Darius Henderson from the penalty spot during The Rams' match against fierce rivals Nottingham Forest on 28 September, but could not stop 10-man Derby from losing 1–0. He recorded back-to-back clean sheets on 9 and 23 November, in a 3–0 win against Sheffield Wednesday and a 1–0 win at Bournemouth, respectively. His sixth clean sheet of the season came in a 2–0 win against Charlton Athletic on 14 December.
Although Derby lost 2–0 to Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup on 5 January, Grant made two excellent late saves to twice deny Fernando Torres the chance to increase Chelsea's lead. He conceded four goals as Derby lost 4–1 to rivals Leicester City on 10 January, but was powerless to stop them and made several good saves to keep the score down. In the following game, a 1–0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion, Grant made a "stunning" reaction save to deny Matthew Upson's header from a corner and made a great late save to prevent Leonardo Ulloa from equalising. Grant's form drew praise from Derby's goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, who lauded Grant's concentration and said that Grant "will be delighted with his performance and he was part of a [defence] that kept us in the game."
- As of match played 24 May 2014.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Derby County||2000–01||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||0||0|
|Oldham Athletic (loan)||2005–06||League One||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||16||0|
- Appearances in Football League Championship play-offs
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- "Notts Forest 1 - 0 Derby". BBC Sport. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
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