Thursday, 17 June 2010

42 Shaun Reid

Position : Midfield

Played : 1983-4 to 1988-89 ; 1992-3 to 1994-5

Appearances : 240

Goals : 14

Shaun made a little piece of history on 14 January 1984 when he became the first Dale player to come through from the YTS scheme making his debut as part of the wholesale changes to the side following the humiliating defeat by Telford. It was an inauspicious start and it was only afterwards that we learnt he was the brother of Everton’s Peter Reid then at the peak of his career.

During his first season there was little to suggest he could be anything more than an enthusiastic understudy to Neville Hamilton. The following season, after Nev had been released, he got more opportunities and had a particularly good game in the last fixture away at champions Chesterfield though it has to be said the Spireites were “having a cigar” that day. His progress was stymied by a broken leg early the next season and he only made 8 appearances plus three on a month’s loan to rock bottom Preston.

The injury to Ian McMahon put him back in the first team in 1986-7 and he was a regular thereafter. He divided opinions amongst the Dale faithful mainly on age lines. Younger fans thrilled to his fierce commitment and robust tackling (plus the odd deplorable incident like when he slugged a York player to the floor). Older fans bemoaned his lack of vision and poor passing - “he wins it, he gives it away again” was their complaint.

Eventually Danny Bergara accepted £30,000 from York City for him in the autumn of 1988 and he spent the next four seasons there (106 apps, 7 goals) before being given a free transfer. He was re-signed for Dale by former team-mate Dave Sutton for the 1992-3 season to form a midfield partnership with Steve Doyle. “One’s got no brains, the other’s got no legs” was how one critic put it. To be fair Shaun’s game had improved a bit; he could take free kicks and got a few more goals, but his basic strengths and weaknesses remained the same.

Shaun decided to leave Dale again at the end of the 1984-5 season and signed for Bury . He was a bit part player in their promotion-winning side making 21 appearances and not scoring. He moved on to Chester where he got more involved in the coaching side after a serious injury and played less often. As Graham Barrow’s miserable tenure at Spotland was coming to an end in 1998-9, rumours swept the terraces that Shaun was about to return as manager and when the teams met each other late in the season Barrow refused to shake his hand at full time. When Barrow subsequently returned to Chester Shaun moved on to Leigh RMI but only made one substitute appearance (his sole game outside the League’s bottom tier) for them. He retired in 2000 and has variously been a driver, football agent and property manager since then. The photo is from his court appearance for drink driving earlier this year.

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