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CCF Rebooted: No.11 - Bobby Grant
Tuesday, 23rd Mar 2021 13:40 by AtThePeake

Bobby Grant was a player that delighted and dismayed Dale supporters in equal measure during his time with the club.

A supremely talented footballer, Grant was unfortunately forever involved in altercations with opposing players and fans (and sometimes his own), but for some time was the best player at the club during his second spell under his former Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman.

Grant's first spell at Spotland came in a loan spell during the 2010/2011 season, when he featured as an attacking player in six appearances, scoring in home matches against Tranmere Rovers and Swindon Town.

He arrived with a decent reputation on loan from Scunthorpe, having signed for the Iron from Stanley where he had been a key player during the first few years of his fledgling professional career.

The Liverpudlian would return for a fee at the end of the 2011/2012 relegation season, a key component in Coleman's plans to return the club to League One at the first time of asking.

Grant delivered the best goalscoring campaign of his career, scoring no fewer than 15 times and repeatedly digging Dale out of holes in the opening months of the season in particular as we struggled towards the lower reaches of mid-table under Coleman's management.

For all of his undoubted ability though, Grant appeared to attract controversy as much as anyone in Coleman's rather controversial side. He picked up eight yellow cards over the course of the season and two reds in home draws with Bradford City and Chesterfield and was repeatedly seen squaring up to rival players and using the 'dark arts' to win himself free-kicks and penalties.

There was even an incident in an away game at AFC Wimbledon where his play-acting enraged some travelling Dale supporters. He later appeared in court after an incident involving Dagenham & Redbridge's Gavin Hoyte too, where Grant was eventually cleared of racially aggravated harassment.

When he was concentrating on hurting the opposition with the ball, Grant was an undoubted threat for Dale and the club's best player in something of a rollercoaster season.

He was particularly adept at cutting in from the right-hand side and unleashing unstoppable, curling strikes with his wand of a left-foot into the far corner, as showcased in the video below in which he scored Dale's goal in a 1-1 home draw with Chesterfield.

After such a productive campaign with the ball, it was unsurprising that Grant handed in a transfer request at the end of the season as he clearly possessed the ability to play higher up the pyramid and he was granted his wish by being sold to Blackpool of the Championship that summer.

The move to Bloomfield Road never really worked out and and resulted in loan spells at Fleetwood and Shrewsbury, the former of which he would sign for on a permanent deal at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season. He played at Highbury Stadium for over three years, racking up 22 goals in 119 appearances before dropping out of the league to join Wrexham in 2018.

He played in a slightly deeper role than he had earlier in his career with the Dragons and although still contracted to the Welsh side, he spent time on loan at Accrington last season and is currently playing out this season on loan at Oldham Athletic, where he has scored three times in 23 League Two showings at the time of writing.

Photo: Action Images



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