Peter Reid - a Huyton Titan

Peter Reid - a Huyton Titan

Many people outside Merseyside may not be aware that before Peter Reid became a professional footballer he played a key part in a remarkable story - when Huyton Boys won the English Schools Trophy in 1971, the only non-city side ever to do so.

The Hollywood actor Rex Harrison was born in Huyton when it was just a village but many Scousers were re-housed from Liverpool there in the 1960s. Like me, Peter grew up on Mosscroft Estate and played a lot of his football on St George's playing fields - no doubt only going home because he was hungry or it got dark like most of the kids.

In 1969, Alan Bleasdale - perhaps more famous now as the writer of the acclaimed TV series 'The Boys From The Blackstuff' - was appointed manager of Huyton Boys. In the brilliant book 'Huyton's Titans' by Mark Campbell, Bleasdale describes the feat of winning the trophy as like Tranmere Rovers winning the FA Cup or North Macedonia thrashing Brazil in the World Cup Final.

As the competition progressed, the venues on which the young players displayed their skills got bigger, with the 2-1 semi-final success over Barking Boys played at Anfield in front of a 7,441 crowd. Huyton took a 4-1 lead over Stoke City into the second leg of the Final, played at Goodison Park where 7,130 spectators saw Bleasdale's boys complete the job with a 1-0 win.

What an achievement it was and it made everyone feel really proud of being from Huyton. You can buy a copy of Mark's book here

Peter Reid, Everton

In the 1980s, Peter's dad and my dad (both now, sadly, no longer with us) were drinking buddies in the main pub on the estate, The Quiet Man (now demolished and replaced by a care home). Through their relationship, I was able to contact Peter about doing a weekly question-and-answer column on a new electronic platform which was emerging called Prestel (a forerunner of the internet).

I would phone him at Bellefield and he would give me his answers to questions sent in by football fans via Prestel. I remember we ran a competition once to win Peter's book 'Everton Winter, Mexican Summer' which tells the story in diary form of the 1985-86 campaign that saw the Blues being pipped by Liverpool in both the League and the Cup. Well worth a read if you can find a copy. 

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