Sheffield United's tribute to colourful 'singing winger' who also starred for Leeds United, Sunderland and shared stage with The Beatles

Sheffield United have paid tribute to their former player Colin Grainger, a colourful character known as ‘the singing winger’ who once shared a bill with The Beatles, after his death at the age of 89.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:34 pm
Updated Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:34 pm

Grainger, who also played for Leeds United and Sunderland, earned seven England caps during his time at Bramall Lane and famously scored twice on his international debut against Brazil.

He scored 27 goals in 98 appearances for the Blades before moving to Sunderland, and also enjoyed a successful music career alongside his football achievements.

Grainger signed with the HMV record label and released a single, "This I Know"/"Are You" in 1958. He performed on the same bill as The Beatles in 1963 and during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, was surprised with a video call from England skipper Harry Kane.

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Sheffield United Football Club is saddened by the news of the passing of former player, Colin Grainger, aged 89,” a United statement read.

“Colin also wore the colours of Leeds, Port Vale, Doncaster Rovers and finally Macclesfield Town before hanging up his boots.

“He was a highly respected scout in later years and had a lengthy spell back with United once again in that role under Neil Warnock.

Former Sheffield United and England player Colin Grainger launched a CD at Bramall Lane

“Colin and his lovely wife were regular visitors to our Senior Blades events over the years where he graced them with his fantastic signing act. Colin put his incredible story into a book, appropriately titled 'The Singing Winger' in 2019 - an incredible tale of an incredible life.

“Colin was a truly wonderful, warm and engaging man who was highly regarded by those who knew him at Sheffield United FC and was one of the players who helped welcome Pele to the club on his visit to celebrate Sheffield FC's 150th birthday.

“The sincere condolences of all at Sheffield United go out to the Grainger family at this saddest of times.”

Former Sheffield United man Colin Grainger was known as 'the singing winger'

Grainger remembered back in 2020: “I played with Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney, Duncan Edwards, Jimmy Hagan of Sheffield United and Len Shackleton of Sunderland.

“They were great, great players and I'm proud that I played with those people. I've got some good memories, but my favourite memory is my two goals against Brazil. That's the one.”