By KLTV Newsroom
Local Kirklees resident Colin Grainger may seem like your average care patient, but he’s probably only one of the few who can say he scored two goals against Brazil on his England debut and once shared a stage with The Beatles as a singer.
Mr. Grainger came into the care of local Kirklees carers on 9 March 2020, following a lengthy stay in hospital due to complex health issues.
The council carried out a routine visit to Mr. Grainger at his home in Skelmanthorpe on 12 March 2020 to complete an assessment of his care needs.
The 86-year-old lives alone after his wife sadly recently passed away and needs the support of council care workers for everyday tasks usually done by his family – who are unable to visit him during the current lockdown period.
During this routine visit, however, care staff realised that Mr. Grainger was not your average patient.
When asked what his hobbies were, he casually said he likes watching sport as he used to be a professional footballer.
He went on to reveal that he played for England and club sides Leeds United and Sheffield United, alongside footballing greats such as Bobby Charlton (England) and Billy Bremner (Leeds United).
In fact, he made his England debut against Brazil at Wembley in 1956, aged 22, and scored twice in the 4-2 win, against the South American side.
As a footballer he played as an outside left and had a 16-year career in the Football League from 1950 to 1966.
Other clubs he played for included Sunderland, Port Vale, Doncaster Rovers, and Macclesfield Town.
In total he had seven caps for England, scoring three goals including the 2 against Brazil – with the other coming against West Germany in a famous 1-3 away win for England in Berlin.
That is not where Colin’s talents end, however. He went on to tell care workers that he enjoys singing and actually sang on the clubland circuit after his football career.
He even once shared a stage with The Beatles, and showed council staff the book he has written about his life as a footballer and singer – titled “The Singing Winger”.
He is close to his family and has two children and several grandchildren, who visit him throughout the week usually to take him out shopping or for meals.
He hopes to regain his independence to be able to do this again after the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Grainger has improved well since leaving the hospital but has been low in mood after losing his wife recently, not being able to see family and friends and the fact that there is no football on the TV which he is especially missing.
His family has thanked Kirklees Council’s care team for all their support in helping to lift his mood and completing tasks that would normally be done by them such as cleaning, changing bedding, laundry, and putting shopping away.
During lockdown some council staff has been redeployed to different areas of the organization to support the services under the most pressure and in most demand.
Andrew Crow is usually a Team Leader within Adult Social Care but is spending time on the frontline until everything gets back to normal.
Andrew has been visiting mainly male service users. He has spent a lot of time chatting to Mr. Grainger about football, showed him how to download old football games, and has sourced tickets of games Mr. Grainger played in on eBay, printed them off, and laminated them for him.
Mr. Grainger said: ‘I thank everyone for the work and care they have provided to me, this has got me back on track after losing my wife and having pneumonia and has enabled me to get back to normal life and look forward.
“I look forward every day to seeing one of the team coming down the drive, they are always so kind, cheerful and encouraging, I really don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “I was amazed when I heard that we have such a footballing legend who is in our care.
“Colin has achieved so much as a footballer and I know there will be many out there who will wish him the very best of health.
“I’m honored that our staff is able to help someone like Colin who has achieved things the rest of us can only dream of, but the compassion shown to him is the same shown to all in our care.
“This is just one example of the kindness our dedicated care staff show on a daily basis.
“No matter who you are, you will get the very best of care and compassion from all our carers who are doing a fantastic job in very challenging and difficult circumstances.
“Throughout this tough and testing period we’re in, our frontline key workers have been heroes in the way they have continuously put others first.”