One of Football’s nice guys and former legendary footballer, manager and current pundit, Peter Reid, tells FootieWithDad Ambassador, Dean Holdsworth, about his playing/managerial career and early childhood watching the beautiful game with his Dad.
‘’I was the kid kicking a ball about whenever I could, playing in the streets with me mates,” Reid says. “Anywhere we could set up a game we would, using jumpers for goalposts – anything to resemble a goal.”
Reid grew up in Liverpool and became a fan of The Reds under the guidance of his football fan Father. Reid was eventually taken to his first game by his Dad, around the age of 6 or 7 in the 1962-63 season. “I took a stool with me so I could see the game whilst holding on to my dad, I couldn’t believe how good it was – I was hooked on football, watching with my Dad!”
“I think it was Alan Ball’s debut as well, for Blackpool and he went on to play for England as we know,” Reid recalls.
“There is no prouder man than my Dad, it was him who took me to the matches as a boy – the games meant everything to us.”
“As a fan, we all want to win every time, it doesn’t always happen as we know, but you have to keep trying – that’s the rules!”
Reid also fondly remembers feeling the buzz of The Merseyside Derby across the city of Liverpool, “The thing is, the match between Liverpool and Everton is as big as Real Madrid and Barcelona if you live in Liverpool,” Reid remarks.
“It’s the game that separates the city – Blue and Red – it’s like the ‘El Scousico’ rather than the ‘El Classico!’”
“The atmosphere gave me tingles up my spine – never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would go on to play in these type of games, back when I was going to games with my Dad as a kid.”
Reid did in fact go on to play in the Merseyside derby during his playing career, However, it was for the blue side – Everton.
It’s clear to see that Reid has football in his blood, which led him to have a memorable career as a professional in the game. The defensive midfielder made his debut in 1974 for Bolton Wanderers, where he went on to make 225 appearances for The Trotters before moving onto Goodison Park in 1982.
Undeterred by playing for his boyhood club’s fiercest rivals, Reid went on to have a successful career with the Toffees. He was as the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1985 and came fourth in the World Football Player of the Year award, behind legends of the game in Michel Platini, Preben Elkjærand and Diego Maradona.
It was only to get better for Reid, as in the same year he received his first senior England cap. He went on to make 13 appearances for the national side, including tournament appearances at the 1986 World Cup and the UEFA European Championships in 1988.
After clocking up 159 appearances for Everton, Reid made a short term switch to Queens Park Rangers in 1989, before joining Manchester City a year later as a player-manager where he remained for three years.
In the twilight years of his playing career the midfielder played a handful of games for Southampton, Notts County and Bury, before hanging up his boots for good and returning to his fledgling managerial career.
Upon his retirement from playing, he was offered the full time managerial position at Sunderland in 1995. His tenure on Wearside was full of highs, including two promotions to the Premier League and achieving two seventh-place finishes. During his time at The Stadium of Light, he also became the England Under 21 Head Coach for a brief period in 1999.
After seven years with Sunderland, Reid took a break from management in 2002, before returning to the managerial hot seat a year later with Leeds United.
Under the stewardship of Reid, the club avoided relegation from the Premier League. However, he left Elland Road the following season. After a period of time, he also went on to manage Coventry City for a brief spell, before being let go in 2004.
The former midfielder also took up punditry working at the 2006 World Cup for the BBC, as well as television work for Sky Sports among others while he was out of the game. During which time, he admitted in previous interviews that he missed being a part of the game in some shape or form, “I’d been in football since I was 15 at Bolton Wanderers and then, when you find yourself out of it, the first couple of days are OK but, after that, bloody hell, it’s hard work,” he admitted.
“You go two weeks and it is already driving you crackers. You wake up, you haven’t got any football problems, life should be great but, bloody hell again, what do you do?”
After some years out of the managerial madness, Reid finally got the break he was waiting for. In 2008 Thailand’s national team came calling, where he won the T&T Cup while in Asia before returning to England with Stoke City as Tony Pulis’ assistant.
Reid has since then gone on to manage Plymouth Argyle and Indian Super League outfit, Mumbai City. He can now be seen appearing as a pundit again on various Sports channels covering his beloved football.
Spending time in the company of Peter Reid is always time well spent, it’s humorous and the football stories are amazing from a real football legend who has the game embedded with his persona.
Peter Reid’s experiences will inspire the friends of FootieWithDad, as we hope to raise money and focus on those that are less fortunate. Many unprivileged children aren’t able to see their favourite team play live for whichever reason, you can donate to this worthwhile cause here – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/footiewithdad
With our help, we hope to make dreams come true, where these children can be taken to a football match with a person of their choice. Let’s make it possible!
The beautiful game of football can bring anyone and everyone together. A bond like no other…