Grainger warming up at the Bescot Stadium in 1996
|Full name||Martin Robert Grainger|
|Date of birth||23 August 1972|
|Place of birth||Enfield, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|2004||→ Coventry City (loan)||7||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Martin Grainger (born 23 August 1972) is an English former footballer who played as a defender. He made 380 appearances and scored 44 goals in the Football League and Premier League. He was an attacking left back who could also play further up the field or even as a winger and was a dead ball specialist.
An experienced player, his career started in 1989 at Colchester United, where he made 37 league starts between July 1992 and October 1993, before moving on to Brentford on 21 October for a fee of £60,000. He was a first-team regular throughout his time at the club, making 100 league starts and scoring 12 goals. He joined Birmingham City on 25 March 1996, and quickly became an inspirational player due to his continued consistency and ability from set-pieces.
He picked up the fans' Player of the Season award for 1999–2000, and played for Birmingham in the 2001 Football League Cup Final loss to Liverpool, missing one of the spot kicks in the shootout. As Birmingham continued to improve in the First Division, and eventually earned promotion into the Premiership, Grainger's playing time became limited. He failed to appear for Birmingham due to injury during the first half of the 2003–04 season, and in February he was loaned to Coventry City, for whom he made seven league appearances. On 18 March 2004, he was recalled to Birmingham's team due to an injury crisis, and got on the scoresheet in a 2–1 defeat to Manchester United, but was himself injured and failed to appear in any matches for the rest of the season.
Grainger retired from football on 1 January 2005, having spent 13 years as a player. His goal-scoring appearance against Manchester United, on 10 April 2004, proved to be his final professional fixture. In the years following his retirement, Grainger has continued to be a popular figure amongst supporters of Birmingham City. He currently works as a train driver.
In January 2008, Grainger was appointed manager of Southern League Premier Division club Cheshunt, but he left the post after less than a week. In their only game during his tenure, Cheshunt lost 4–0 to Hemel Hempstead Town. He is currently the shortest-reigning manager of the club.
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