HE was once signed by Glasgow Rangers for £600,000 – when he was only 18.
He has captained Barnsley to League 1 play-off final glory at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
And now centre half Paul Reid will be hoping to add another glorious chapter to his football life story by helping ultra-ambitious Eastleigh into the Football League, writes Paul Mcnamara.
Reid is one of Spitfires manager Richard Hill’s five summer signings as the club embark on their first season in the top flight of English non league football – just 11 years after winning the Wessex League title.
Released by Northampton Town last January, Reid has revealed he toyed with the idea of retiring before Hill contacted hm.
“I’ve been lucky throughout my career that I’ve been wanted and been offered contracts all the time,” said Reid.
“ It had never been a problem. It came to January and I was out of contract. I was offered a few things by both league and non-league clubs, but nothing that excited me. “Nothing seemed to be a plan going forward. It was all just treading water.
“I wanted to be a part of something. When nothing came up, I completely got my head around the fact that I may have to retire.
“I lost a bit of heart.”
Reid admits that prior to a call from Hill, he knew “very, very little, in fact almost nothing” about Eastleigh FC. Nevertheless, a little over a fortnight later, he was making plans to uproot his family from Wakefield in Yorkshire in readiness to join the next stage of the Spitfires’ push for league football.
“The big thing for me is personal pride,” he remarked. “There’s no way I’m coming down here, moving my family down here, and coming into training every day, looking at the lads, and not giving it everything I’ve got. “I’ve got far too much pride for that.
“I’m certainly not coming down here to slack off training and make a fool of myself on a Saturday by not doing things properly, or because of a lack of preparation. No chance. “My motivation is that I had got my head around retiring. This is all a bonus for me. “It’s something I can really, really enjoy, and hopefully be successful along with it. “It’s too early to talk about where I’d like to take the club, because as a single player it’s difficult to do that. “But I’d love to be part of the history of the club. To say that, during my time here, we have progressed, and possibly even got promoted into the league – to say that I was part of a squad that got this club into the Football League, that would be huge.”
Big interview with Paul Reid in this weekend’s Sports Pink.