Sport Soccer

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Peter Reid opens up on his grandfather's role in the Easter Rising...and pays tribute to Roy Keane

Peter Reid
Peter Reid
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Peter Reid has paid tribute to his Irish grandfather Paddy and revealed details of his involvement in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Paddy was stationed in Bolan’s Mill back in 1916 and he helped to smuggle guns into Ireland before fleeing to England and setting up a family in Liverpool, with Peter the product of a family history that has always fascinated him.

“My granddad was a great fella and the tales of him being involved in the uprising were often spoken about in my family,” Reid told as he promoted his compelling autobiography ‘Cheer Up Peter Reid’.

“My old man who used to talk about the Irish side of our family when he was with us, but I remember my granddad never used to say too much.

“All I know is he got out of Ireland because the British were after him, so he must have done something to upset them!”

Reid could have played international football for Ireland, but instead because a senior England star and played a prominent role in their 1986 World Cup adventure that was halted by the hand and brilliance of Diego Maradona in Mexico.

“Despite my family background, the prospect of Ireland never really came up,” he adds. “I was English, I’d played for their under-21 side and there was never really any decision to make, but part of me feels Irish for sure,” he adds.

“At every club I was at, I always tried to bring my team to Ireland for pre-season friendlies and the warmth of the people over there always shines through for me.

“I played against some great Irish players and for me, Liam Brady was one of the best I have seen. I was also lucky to play against Johnny Giles and there have been some wonderful footballers who have emerged from Ireland down the years.”

Reid went on to express his joy following Ireland’s progression to the World Cup play-offs against Denmark next month, as he offered a glowing tribute to manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane.

“Martin has done a fantastic job there and the same can be said of Michael O’Neill in Northern Ireland by the way,” added Reid.

“There is an example of two homegrown managers who have got the best out of the players at their disposal and that is never easy in the modern game.

“You have to treat players a little differently these days because they don’t always respond to well to ranting and raving from a manager and I’m sure Martin and Roy Keane have found that balance with Ireland and they have the players working for them.

“I’m a big fan of Keane, even though a few people find his abrasive personality a little but too much to handle. He ruffles feathers with what he says, better than anyone.

“Martin seems happy to have him as his assistant and he will be fully aware that those often explosive press conferences Roy gives will create a few headlines, but he must feel he contributes to the set-up.

“At the end of the day, football management is all about getting the best out of players. Back in the days when Bill Shankly did it at Liverpool, Brian Clough did it at Nottingham Forest or Alex Ferguson was in charge at Manchester United, the end target was the same.

“You want to maximize the talent of the players you have in your dressing room and whatever Martin and Roy did the other night in Wales, that’s what they did with those Ireland players.”

‘Cheer Up Peter Reid’ is available in all good bookshops and online.

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