A one-club man, Grenville Hair rose through the ranks at Leeds United, before playing 474 times for The Whites, putting him 12th on the club’s all-time list of appearances.
Signed on the same day as John Charles in 1948, Major Frank Buckley would persuade Hair to concentrate on football rather than athletics, for which he was making a name for himself as a local champion.
After waiting two years to make his first appearance, Hair became an ever-present in the side for 10 years, featuring under six managers, and staying long enough to be part of the opening seasons in the Don Revie revolution.
During his time at the club, Grenville formed a successful partnership with right-back Jimmy Dunn, as the two helped the club win promotion to the First Division in 1955-56.
He only lost his slot on the left side of the defence when Willie Bell arrived at Elland Road. By then Hair had had a fine career, and was often picked to travel on FA tours but never won an England cap.
Such was his standing at both Leeds and in the game, for his testimonial, a Leeds United side played against the Grenville Hair XI, which featured Gordon Banks (Leicester), Nat Lofthouse (Bolton), and Jackie Milburn (Newcastle), amongst others.
In 2004, the club compiled the Greatest 100 Leeds United Players, of which Grenville Hair came 19th, between Tony Currie and Joe Jordan.
After Leeds United…
On leaving the club in 1964, Grenville took up the player-manager position at Wellington Town (later renamed Telford United), where he would stay for three years.
Returning back to Yorkshire, Hair became a coach at Bradford City before eventually being promoted to manager. Whilst enjoying an upturn in results, Hair would sadly suffer a heart attack during a training session, passing away at the age of 36.
Did you know…
During national service, Grenville Hair played alongside John Charles in the 12th Royal Lancers side, winning the Northern Command Trophy together.