There was no more comforting and familiar sight at the Abbey Stadium in the late 60s and early 70s than the Brian Grant sliding tackle. Time and again, marauding right wingers found themselves dispossessed, just as they thought they were free, by the famous swinging left leg.
The Grant Slide was on view week after week between September 1967 and 1971 as Brian amassed 187 appearances in all competitions. That he scored no more than two goals came as a relief to teammate Roly Horrey, who had offered him £1 for every time he bothered the scorers.
Known as Tiger for the ferocity of his tackling, Brian was signed by Bill Leivers following spells with Nottingham Forest and the club then known as Hartlepools, where his gaffer had been a certain Brian Clough.
He was, in Bill’s kind judgement, the type of player managers always look for: happy, big-hearted, and strong, brave and consistent on the field. His amazing powers of recovery often got the team out of trouble, the manager added.
Shrugging off an early shoulder dislocation, he was soon an established first-teamer as United won the Southern League double in 1968/69, repeated the League title feat the following season and secured election to the Football League in 1970.
Brian became United longest-serving player but left in 1971 to join Kettering. He then displayed astute management skills in local football and as a painter and decorator, while never neglecting the golf courses of the Cambridge area.