Steelmen Forever: Billy Reid

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A group of members of the Motherwell FC Former Players Club joined the Well Society en masse within the last year. Willie Hunter, Jim Griffin, Dougie Hope, Davie Main, Bert McCann, Bobby Watson, Billy Reid, Willie McSeveney, Davie Whiteford and John Martis all joined as a group to help the club on its way to fan ownership. They joined a number of other former and current players who have joined the Well Society.

In a new series of articles, we look back at each of the 10 players who signed up, starting with Billy Reid. Billy signed for his local club in January 1955 despite being highly in demand from clubs both north and south of the border.

As a Scotland schoolboy and youth international, Billy could have signed for any of a number of clubs but it was the Wishaw youngster’s dream to play in the claret and amber.billy

Billy said: “To be able to play with Andy Paton, Baldy Shaw and other members of the team that won the cup was special.

“And then after that I got to play alongside Ian St John, my brother Sammy, Charlie Aitken, John Martis, great players.”

Billy was part of the Ancell Babes and starred along with his younger brother, who became Bill Shankly’s first signing as Liverpool manager in 1960 following an £8,000 transfer.

“St John was a wonderful player,” Billy said. “And my younger brother Sammy went to Liverpool before St John. He wanted back home because he was homesick and he was only a young man.”

On his time at Fir Park, Billy said: “Beating Celtic and Rangers, they were the highs. I could still tell you the teams from those times.”

Billy left for Airdrie in 1961 while Sammy went on to score one of the most famous goals in Scottish football history, hitting the only goal as Berwick knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup in 1967.

But their hearts remained with Motherwell and they were both regulars at Fir Park after their careers ended, and until Sammy passed away in 2014.

Billy has long been a key and popular member of the former players’ club and continues to support his beloved Motherwell at games.

“It’s a great way to keep in contact,” he said. “For years it helped me keep in touch with old players like Andy Paton, and myself and my wife became good pals with Andy’s wife too.”

We would like to once again thank the former players association for all their support.  If you haven’t done so yet you can support the Well Society in our journey towards fan ownership by pledging monthly or by making a one off payment by clicking here

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