Will Grigg

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For the American author, see William Norman Grigg. For the fictional character, see Will Griggs.
Will Grigg
Grigg, Will.jpg
Grigg in 2011
Personal information
Full name William Donald Grigg[1]
Date of birth (1991-07-03) 3 July 1991 (age 25)[1]
Place of birth Solihull, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Wigan Athletic
Number 9
Youth career
1998–2007 Birmingham City
2007 Solihull Moors
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Stratford Town
2008–2013 Walsall 99 (27)
2013–2015 Brentford 34 (4)
2014–2015 Milton Keynes Dons (loan) 44 (20)
2015– Wigan Athletic 40 (25)
National team
2009–2010 Northern Ireland U19 17 (2)
2010–2012 Northern Ireland U21 10 (1)
2012– Northern Ireland 8 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 May 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 May 2016

William Donald "Will" Grigg (born 3 July 1991) is an English-born Northern Irish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Championship club Wigan Athletic. He represents Northern Ireland at international level. Grigg began his professional career at Walsall and came to prominence during the 2012–13 season, winning the club's Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards.

Club career

Early years

Grigg was born in Solihull, West Midlands.[1] He was educated at Solihull School and was signed by Birmingham City at the age of seven.[2] He progressed through the club's youth teams, but suffered a broken leg at age 15.[3][4] After his release by Birmingham in 2007, Grigg became a student at Solihull College and turned out for Solihull Moors' youth team.[5]

Stratford Town

In September 2007, Grigg signed non-contract terms with Midland Alliance side Stratford Town and made his first team debut in a 0–0 FA Cup qualifying draw versus Hednesford Town on 15 September.[6] He started the replay and was substituted after 58 minutes for Steven Ruck.[7] Grigg scored in a league game versus Biddulph Victoria on 29 September and again versus Racing Club Warwick on 7 October.[8][9][10]

Walsall

Having courted interest from West Bromwich Albion, Grigg signed a scholarship at League One side Walsall in the summer of 2008.[11] Assigned the number 24 shirt, he made his league debut as an 89th-minute substitute for Dwayne Mattis in a 0–0 draw with Cheltenham Town on 20 December 2008.[12] Grigg was an unused substitute for a 2–1 defeat away to Tranmere Rovers on 28 December 2008 and made no further appearances in the first team squad during the 2008–09 season.[13] Grigg made no appearances during the 2009–10 season, but was an unused substitute on 20 occasions.[14] Grigg featured regularly as a second-half substitute during the 2010–11 season and made his first start for Walsall in a 1–0 FA Cup second round defeat at Torquay United on 27 November 2010.[15] He made his first league start in a 1–0 away win against Charlton Athletic on 12 December 2010.[16] He scored his first senior goal in a 2–2 league draw against Bristol Rovers on 11 January 2011.[17] Grigg finished the 2010–11 season having made 30 appearances and scored 4 goals.[18] Grigg made 32 appearances and 4 four goals during the 2011–12 season.[19]

Grigg became a regular starter during the 2012–13 season and scored seven goals before the New Year, including a brace in a 4–2 away victory over Milton Keynes Dons on Boxing Day.[20] Grigg started 2013 in style with a goal, an assist and his first professional Man of the Match award in Walsall's televised league game against Portsmouth on 4 January.[21][22] His impressive form continued as he scored his first hat-trick in a 3–0 victory at Carlisle United on 26 February,[23] bringing his season tally up to 14 goals. He finished the 2012–13 season with a run of 10 goals in 11 games,[24] as Walsall mounted an unsuccessful challenge to qualify for the League One playoffs. Grigg's form led to interest from Championship side Derby County and Premier League sides Aston Villa,[11][25] Southampton and Norwich City.[26] Grigg won the Walsall Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards for the 2012–13 season,[27] having made 45 appearances and finished as the club's top scorer with 20 goals.[24] Grigg's contract expired at the end of the season and he left the club after turning down a new four-year deal.[11] He finished his Walsall career having made 109 appearances and scored 28 goals.[28]

Brentford

On 1 July 2013, Grigg signed for fellow League One side Brentford on a three-year deal.[29] As Grigg was under 24 at the time of the transfer, the deal went to a Football League tribunal and Brentford were ordered to pay an initial £325,000, plus add-ons.[30] By July 2014, the fee had risen to £405,000.[31] Grigg made his debut for the club in the first game of the 2013–14 season, a 1–1 away draw at Port Vale on 3 August 2013.[32] On his next appearance, he scored his first Brentford goals, a brace in a 3–1 home victory over Sheffield United on 10 August.[33] Injury, international call ups and being played out of position by manager Uwe Rösler led to Grigg enduring a stuttering start to his Brentford career and he admitted suffering a dip in confidence.[34][35] He went 10 games without a goal, until he was retrospectively credited with Brentford's second in a 3–2 win over Peterborough United on 26 November.[36] In the following game, he scored the winner in a 1–0 league victory over Notts County.[37] Grigg scored his fifth Brentford goal against Port Vale on 11 January 2014, scoring late in the second half after coming on for Sam Saunders.[38] In March and still behind Clayton Donaldson and Marcello Trotta in the pecking order, Grigg told the Hounslow Chronicle "I haven’t become a bad striker overnight. I’ve been training well, I’m confident and keep believing. If I get a run of games, I think I will always score goals".[39] Grigg made regular appearances in the latter stages of a successful season in which Brentford secured automatic promotion to the Championship, but he was unable to find the net and finished the campaign with 36 appearances and 4 goals.[40] Grigg departed Griffin Park on loan for the duration of the 2014–15 season and left the club on 14 July 2015.[3][41]

Milton Keynes Dons

On 18 July 2014, it was announced that Grigg had joined League One side Milton Keynes Dons from Brentford on a season long loan.[3] Manager Karl Robinson stated that Grigg is "a goalscorer at this level and he’s a Northern Ireland international too. He’s got the pedigree to come in and do well".[3] Grigg scored on his debut for the club, levelling the score at 2–2 in an eventual 4–2 win over Gillingham on the opening day of the 2014–15 season.[42] After three further appearances without scoring, Grigg put on a man of the match performance in a League Cup second round match versus Manchester United on 26 August, scoring a brace in a shock 4–0 victory.[43] The match kick-started Grigg's season and he went on to score three goals in his next six games, to take his tally to five goals in seven games.[44] Grigg hit his next patch of regular goalscoring form in mid-March 2015, scoring nine goals in eight games to help consolidate the Dons' third place in the table.[44][45] His four goals in two games over the Easter Weekend saw him named in the Football League Team of the Week.[46] On 28 April, Grigg was presented with the Dons' Goal of the Season and Top Goalscorer awards.[47] He finished the season with a goal in a 5–1 rout of Yeovil Town, which confirmed a second-place finish for the Dons and automatic promotion to the Championship, ahead of fellow contenders Preston North End.[48] Grigg scored 22 goals in 50 appearances during the 2014–15 season.[44]

Wigan Athletic

On 14 July 2015, Grigg signed for newly relegated League One club Wigan Athletic on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee,[41] reported to be "around £1 million".[49] Grigg scored his first goal from the penalty spot in a 2–1 defeat to Bury in the League Cup first round.[50] Grigg scored his first hat-trick for Wigan in a 3–0 victory over Port Vale on 30 January 2016.[51]

Grigg scored 25 League goals during the 2015-16 season, finishing as League One's top goalscorer, to help Wigan earn automatic promotion.[52] His performances earned him a tied 25th place in the initial voting process for the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award after the 2015–16 campaign.[53]

International career

He has represented Northern Ireland at U19, U21 and senior level. He scored on his U21 debut after coming on as a substitute against San Marino in a UEFA U21 European Championship Qualifier[54] on 3 September 2010 and earned his first senior cap in a 6–0 defeat to the Netherlands in a friendly on 2 June 2012, playing the full 90 minutes.[55] After a further five friendly and 2014 World Cup qualifying appearances, Grigg failed to win a cap between October 2013 and March 2015, but his good form for Milton Keynes Dons earned him a start in a friendly versus Scotland.[56] He played 58 minutes of the 1–0 defeat, before being substituted by Paddy McCourt.[57]

On 18 May 2016, Grigg was selected as part of the provisional 27-man squad to represent Northern Ireland in the UEFA Euro 2016 competition.[58] On 28 May, he was named in the final 23-man squad,[59] but ended up not playing a single minute throughout the tournament.[60]

Personal life

Grigg was born into an Aston Villa-supporting family and supported the club up until the age of seven, when he joined Birmingham City and "started to turn a bit!".[4]

"Will Grigg's on Fire"

In May 2016, Wigan Athletic supporter Sean Kennedy uploaded a video to YouTube titled "Will Grigg's on fire", which featured a song written in recognition of the recent goal-scoring feats of Grigg with the chorus to "Will Grigg's on fire, your defence is terrified" sung to the tune of "Freed from Desire" by Italian singer Gala.[61] Since it was uploaded, the song has become a very popular football chant and a national sensation.[61] Kennedy received a free Wigan season ticket from the Wigan chairman David Sharpe for the 2016–17 season as a result of success of the chant.[62]

On 31 May 2016, Electro duo Blonde released a version of the song and entered the Charts and the iTunes top 10 songs.[63]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 8 May 2016.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Walsall 2008–09[64] League One 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10[65] League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11[18] League One 28 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 30 4
2011–12[19] League One 29 4 3 0 0 0 1[a] 0 33 4
2012–13[24] League One 41 19 1 0 2 0 1[a] 1 45 20
Total 99 27 5 0 3 0 2 1 109 28
Brentford 2013–14[40] League One 34 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 36 4
Milton Keynes Dons (loan) 2014–15[44] League One 44 20 3 0 3 2 0 0 50 22
Wigan Athletic 2015–16[66] League One 40 25 1 0 1 1 1[a] 2 43 28
Career total 217 76 11 0 7 3 3 3 238 82
  1. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in Football League Trophy

International

As of match played 27 May 2016.[67]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Northern Ireland 2012 1 0
2013 4 0
2015 2 0
2016 1 1
Total 8 1

Honours

Brentford

Milton Keynes Dons

Wigan Athletic

Individual

References

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External links