Nicknamed 'The Duke', John Grant was a stylish right-back, who served Hibernian with complete dedication for 15 years – earning two Scotland caps in the process.
Debut: Hibernian (2) vs St Mirren (1) - Division One (Old) - 04/12/1954
John Grant was born in Edinburgh in 1931 and began his career with local juvenile side Merchiston Thistle before joining Hibernian in 1949 as an inside right. Like his father, John had been an avid Hibernian supporter as a boy and he rejected the advances of Hearts, Hull City, Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City to sign for his boyhood club.
Although he showed early promise, he had to wait patiently to make his debut for the first team due to the strength of the Hibs side in the early 1950s. He featured regularly for the club’s ‘B’ team while also completing his national service and a joiner’s apprenticeship.
John made his first-team debut almost five years after signing in a 2-1 victory over St Mirren and quickly gained the reputation as an excellent all-round utility player playing then as a wing-half.
Football card featuring John Grant.
A composed, intelligent reader of play, John got his first-taste of intercontinental football in the European Cup semi-final against Reims in Paris in April 1956.
He and his team-mates were powerless to prevent Reims from winning the first leg 2-0 in the French capital and in the return leg at Easter Road, John was selected to feature in front of a crowd of 49, 941 – a record attendance for a floodlit match. Hibernian, although dominant throughout, went down 1-0 on the night and lost 3-0 on aggregate.
John was soon attracting the interest of rival teams and Hibernian rejected a £1,750 bid from Raith Rovers to sign John and Shaw then converted him into a right-back. He was rarely ever caught out by an opposing winger and his burgeoning reputation as a classy right-back grew and during the 1957/58 season, he was a virtual ever-present in Hibernian’s first team.
The Hibs side before the East of Scotland final at Tynecastle in March 1962.
Left to right back row: MacLeod, Easton, Preston, Simpson, McClelland and Fraser.
Front row: Scott, Baker, Grant, Stevenson and Bogie.
John scored his first of two goals for Hibs that season in a 3-2 victory over East Fife and he helped the club reach the 1958 Scottish Cup Final. John then earned a call up for the National Team after impressing at both Hibs and in his Scottish League debut against the Irish League.
Over 10 seasons, John made 297 appearances across all competitions for Hibernian before moving to Raith Rovers in 1964 where he played for a further season before retiring from the game.
Full Name: John Grant
Date of Birth: 16th June 1931
Place of Birth: Edinburgh, Scotland
National Team: Scotland
International Debut: Wales (0) vs Scotland (3) - British International Championship - 18th October 1958
Under the management of Matt Busby, the one-time guest wing-half who had helped Hibernian to win the Summer Cup in 1941, John made his debut for Scotland in a 3-0 win over Wales. He retained his place in the Scotland squad and he featured in a 2-2 draw against Northern Ireland at Hampden the following month.