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Grant Haley

Grant Haley
Norwich Career: Schoolboy
Current Club: Alconbury (Peterborough and District Football League)
Date of Birth: 20/09/1979
Nationality: English


Born in Bristol on 20th September 1979, young right back Grant Haley made his debut against Southend United on Boxing Day 1999. Haley began his career with Norwich City at the age of 11 before leaving for London Road with Kit Carson three years later. Despite his diminutive size, he proved to be a competent defender in aerial situations and his qualities as a reliable and consistent performer shone through when Posh reached the semi final of the Times FA Youth Cup two seasons ago.

In his column for the Official Peterborough United Website, Kit Carson wrote on 27th November 1999 "When Eddie Prenderville, a brilliant Irish scout resident in Bristol, famous for his Val Doonican sweaters, rang me at Carrow Road and said I have a great little player for you, he wasn’t wrong. The lad was Grant Haley and he was 10 years old. We were having a weekend in Worcester with a Canary Under 10 squad and Grant arrived a bag of nerves. He grabbed the bed in the corner of the teams dormitory and spoke to nobody all weekend! But he could play and acquired that day a nickname, ‘Bill’, revealing the true age of the staff. ‘Bill’ was soon playing alongside today’s well known Posh lads. We took part in a tournament in Nantes, France, at Under 12 level where ‘Digger’, ‘Billo’ (David Billington) and our current Under 10 Manager ‘Hobsy’ were all in attendance. When I joined Posh in 1993 ‘Bill’ (as he was still known) left Norwich and came over with me. He soon acquired a new nickname of which I and others know the origin of. I used to drive to Wales each Friday to train players in a school and bring them on to Posh for the weekend. Bristol lads were collected en route including ‘Hobsy’ and players like ‘Digger’ and Aaron Cable who can vouch for the authenticity of this. Bill’s mum hugged and kissed him with a ‘bye bye sugar’. I for one think it is a good thing that parents and children are affectionate to each other, but in the football world, overt signs of affection by parents can result in mickey taking. Sniggering and mock comments in the back seat of ‘bye bye sugar’ soon resulted in ‘Bill’ becoming ‘Sugar’ that stays until this day! The most interesting fact about ‘Sugar’ is that whenever he has had to go up a level he takes it in his stride. This is the sign of an excellent player. At 16 he had a good player above him in Michael Edwards but when Eddy left, he became an integral part of Paul Ashworth’s youth team and gained himself a professional contract. I know Barry has always liked ‘Sugar’ and when he handled playing in the Reserves so well, we felt that a first team debut was inevitable."

Grant joined ambitious Ryman League side Bedford Town on loan in September 2000. When he was released by Peterborough at the end of October 2000, he signed full terms with Bedford in January 2001.

Grant is now playing in local football in Peterborough with the likes of United Welding and Alconbury.

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