William Donald Grigg (born 3 July 1991) is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for Milton Keynes Dons, on loan from Brentford. He represents Northern Ireland at international level. Grigg began his professional career at Walsall and came to prominence during the 2012–13 season, winning the club’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards.
Grigg was educated at Solihull School and is a Birmingham City supporter. He was signed by Birmingham City at the age of seven and progressed through the club’s youth teams. Grigg suffered a broken leg at age 15. After his release by Birmingham in 2007, Grigg became a student at Solihull College and turned out for Solihull Moors’ youth team.
In September 2007, Grigg signed non-contract terms with Midland Alliance side Stratford Town and made his first team debut in a 0–0 FA Cup qualifying draw versus Hednesford Town on 15 September. He started the replay and was substituted after 58 minutes for Steven Ruck. Grigg scored in a league game versus Biddulph Victoria on 29 September, and again versus Racing Club Warwick on 7 October.
Having courted interest from West Bromwich Albion, Grigg signed a scholarship at League One side Walsall in the summer of 2008. Assigned the number 24 shirt, he made his league debut as an 89th minute substitute for Dwayne Mattis in a 0–0 draw with Cheltenham Town on 20 December 2008. Grigg was an unused substitute for a 2–1 defeat away to Tranmere Rovers on 28 December 2008 and made no further appearances in the first team squad during the 2008–09 season. Grigg made no appearances during the 2009–10 season, but was an unused substitute on 20 occasions. Grigg featured regularly as a second half substitute during the 2010–11 season and made his first start for Walsall in a 1–0 FA Cup second round defeat at Torquay United on 27 November 2010. He made his first league start in a 1–0 away win against Charlton Athletic on 12 December 2010. He scored his first senior goal in a 2–2 league draw against Bristol Rovers on 11 January 2011. Grigg finished the 2010–11 season having made 30 appearances and scored four goals. Grigg made 32 appearances and scored four goals during the 2011–12 season.
Grigg became a regular starter during the 2012–13 season and scored seven goals before the New Year, including a brace in a 4–2 away victory over Milton Keynes Dons on Boxing Day. Grigg started 2013 in style with a goal, an assist and his first professional Man of the Match award in Walsall’s televised league game against Portsmouth on 4 January. His impressive form continued as he scored his first hat-trick in a 3–0 victory at Carlisle United on 26 February, bringing his season tally up to 14 goals. He finished the 2012–13 season with a run of 10 goals in 11 games, as Walsall mounted an unsuccessful challenge to qualify for the League One playoffs. Grigg’s form led to interest from Championship side Derby County and Premier League sides Aston Villa, Southampton and Norwich City.
Grigg won the Walsall Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards for the 2012–13 season, having made 46 appearances and finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 20 goals. Grigg’s contract expired at the end of the season and he left the club after turning down a new four-year deal. He finished his Walsall career having made 109 appearances and scored 28 goals.
On 1 July 2013, Grigg signed for fellow League One side Brentford on a three-year deal. As Grigg was under 24 at the time of the transfer, the deal went to a Football League tribunal and Brentford were ordered to pay an initial £325,000, plus add-ons. By July 2014, the fee had risen to £405,000.(This has not been confirmed)
Grigg made his debut for the club in the first game of the 2013–14 season, a 1–1 away draw at Port Vale on 3 August 2013. On his next appearance, he scored his first Brentford goals, a brace in a 3–1 home victory overSheffield United on 10 August. Injury, international call ups and being played out of position by manager Uwe Rösler led to Grigg enduring a stuttering start to his Brentford career and he admitted suffering a dip in confidence. He went 10 games without a goal, until he was retrospectively credited with Brentford’s second in a 3–2 win over Peterborough United on 26 November. In the following game, Grigg scored the winner in a 1–0 league victory over Notts County. Grigg scored his fifth Brentford goal against Port Vale on 11 January 2014, scoring late in the second half after coming on for Sam Saunders. In March and still behind Clayton Donaldson and Marcello Trotta in the pecking order, Grigg told the Hounslow Chronicle “I haven’t become a bad striker overnight. I’ve been training well, I’m confident and keep believing. If I get a run of games, I think I will always score goals”. Grigg made regular appearances in the latter stages of a successful season in which Brentford secured automatic promotion to the Championship, but was unable to find the net and finished the campaign with 36 appearances and five goals. Grigg had mixed feelings about his debut season at Griffin Park, saying “I didn’t play as often as I would have liked and scoring only five goals wasn’t my aim. It was difficult, having started 40 games for Walsall the previous year. It was stop-start, especially with me missing games due to international duty”. Grigg was the subject of transfer interest from League One side Bristol City in late June 2014, but he quashed the speculation the following month. He departed Griffin Park on a season-long loan in July, but good form while on loan led manager Mark Warburton to comment in October that he may bring Grigg back to Brentford in January 2015.
On 18 July 2014, it was announced that Grigg had joined League One side Milton Keynes Dons on a season-long loan. Manager Karl Robinson stated that Grigg is “a goalscorer at this level and he’s a Northern Ireland international too. He’s got the pedigree to come in and do well”. Grigg scored on his debut for the club, levelling the score at 2–2 in an eventual 4–2 win over Gillingham on the opening day of the 2014–15 season. After three further appearances without scoring, Grigg put on a man of the match performance in a League Cup second round match versus Manchester United on 26 August, scoring a brace in a 4–0 victory. The match kick-started Grigg’s season and he went on to score three goals in his next six games, to take his tally to five goals in seven games. After seven games without a goal, Grigg netted his seventh of the season with the opener in a 2–2 draw with Rochdale on 25 November.
|2014–||Milton Keynes Dons (loan)||36||(13)|
|2009–2010||Northern Ireland U19||17||(2)|
|2010–2012||Northern Ireland U21||10||(1)|