Grant Tanner joined Norwood from Jervois, about 100 kilometres South-East of Adelaide. Lightly framed, he played three games for the Norwood under 17s in 1986, and another 15 in 1987 when he also represented South Australia in the Teal Cup in Hobart. He played in the 1988 Under 19 Grand Final victory over Glenelg, as well as a handful of games for the reserves in the same year.
Tanner made his league debut near the end of the 1989 season and went on to play the final five games of the year, including the finals series.
He developed further in 1990, making 19 senior appearances and received a "Meritorious Performance" award for his efforts.
In 1991 he was invited to train with the newly formed Adelaide Crows. Unfortunately, he strained a medial ligament in his left knee playing for Norwood in Round 1 of the SANFL. He re-injured the knee at training, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and forcing him to miss the rest of the season. He had not yet been contracted to the Crows, despite having played in two of their trials.
Tanner had also played five games in the 1991 Foundation Cup (pre-season series) for the Redlegs, including its Grand Final loss to South Adelaide.
After making a successful return from injury, he played 19 League games in 1992, earning another "Meritorious Performance" award and representing South Australia in its six point victory over Western Australia.
A skilful, smooth-moving, direct footballer with good disposal, Tanner was an ideal "utility" for the Redlegs.
Despite persistent hamstring injuries in 1993, Tanner made 17 senior appearances and reached the 50 game milestone for the club. He was named on a wing in the side that was defeated by Woodville-West Torrens in the Grand Final. That was to be his last League game for the club.
Selected by Geelong in the 1993 end of season draft, he was a member of the Cats' 1994 and 1995 finals teams. Tanner played 69 AFL games, before a knee reconstruction on his right leg at the end of 1997, effectively ended his senior career. He missed the entire 1998 season, and was subsequently delisted by Geelong.
Tanner returned to South Australia and attempted a comeback with the Redlegs in 1999 but only managed to play 10 games in the Reserves.
After retiring as a player, Tanner's coaching stints have included appointments at Grovedale (Geelong Football League) and the Belmont Lions (Geelong and District Football League).
His brother Wayne, played 74 games for Norwood between 1985 and 1991.
R Cialini Oct 2017