Martin Grainger

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Martin Grainger
Martin Grainger footballer.jpg
Grainger warming up at the Bescot Stadium in 1996
Personal information
Full name Martin Robert Grainger[1]
Date of birth (1972-08-23) 23 August 1972 (age 47)[1]
Place of birth Enfield,[1] England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Playing position(s) Defender
Youth career
0000–1989 Colchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1993 Colchester United 62 (7)
1993–1996 Brentford 101 (12)
1996–2005 Birmingham City 226 (25)
2004Coventry City (loan) 7 (0)
Total 396 (44)
Teams managed
2008 Cheshunt
* 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.[3] 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. He is now a train driver for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)


Playing career[edit]

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 Player of the Season award for 1999–2000,[4] 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.[5]

Managerial career[edit]

In January 2008, Grainger was appointed manager of Southern League Premier Division club Cheshunt, but he left the post after less than a week.[6] In their only game during his tenure, Cheshunt lost 4–0 to Hemel Hempstead Town.[7] He is currently the shortest-reigning manager of the club.

Personal life[edit]

Grainger's son Charlie plays as a goalkeeper. He joined Leyton Orient in 2009,[8] turned professional in 2014,[9] and has represented England at under-18 level.[10]



Colchester United[11]

Birmingham City[5]



  1. ^ a b c "Martin Grainger". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. ^ Sewell, Albert, ed. (1996). News of the World Football Annual 1996–97. London: Invincible Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-00-218737-4.
  3. ^ "Martin Grainger". Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database. Neil Brown. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Player of the Year". The Birmingham City FC Archive. 13 December 2002. Archived from the original on 28 December 2004. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b Tattum, Colin (22 January 2008). "Martin Grainger". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Grainger quits as Cheshunt boss". East Herts Herald. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  7. ^ Beyeler, Marc (13 January 2008). "Grainger era starts with defeat". Hertfordshire Mercury. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  8. ^ Davies, Jonny (16 April 2013). "The big interview: Charlie Grainger". Leyton Orient F.C. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Grainger: It's going to be a great season". Farnborough F.C. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. ^ Veevers, Nicholas (5 March 2014). "Déjà-vu for England U18s as they slip to Croatia defeat". The Football Association. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Players: Martin Grainger". Coludata. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Throwback Thursday". Fulham F.C. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2015.