Promotion Personalities – Brian Reeves

1989/90 Programme

The following article was published during the 1989-90 season in the match day programme and is reproduced here in full.

During the course of this season we will be running a regular article under the title of ‘Promotion Personalities’ that will feature the individual players who secured promotion to Division Three under the managership of Billy Bingham in the 1966/67 Season. This article is written by Mike Braham and no doubt Geoff Wilde has also provided some of the information, many thanks to both of you!

We start the feature by looking at the regular “keeper during the season, Brian Reeves.

Born in Skelmersdale, Brian Reeves signed amateur forms for Everton after leaving school. He played in the club’s junior sides before packing up the game at the age of sixteen and a half. During the next 18 months he turned to cycle racing and was an enthusiastic member of Ormskirk R.C., winning several trophies in road races.

It was in the R.A.F. that Brian started playing soccer again and he travelled all over Africa with the Kenyan national team whom he captained. He received more than 20 ’Caps’ for Kenya.

Brian came out of the R.A.F. with the intention of going to Arsenal for a trial but he never got there, because Blackburn Rovers’ centre-half, Matt Woods, who lived near Brian in Skelmersdale, recommended him to Ewood Park, where he played for 2 seasons. In 1960-61 he was a member of the Rovers side which reached the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, also making 11 appearances in their First Division team. He played 1 League game the following season before being transferred to Scunthorpe, where Dick Duckworth, a Southport wing-half in 1932-33, was manager.

After making 38 appearances in 3 seasons, he was released and was one of 9 pre-season signings Southport made during the summer of 1965. He played in all of Southport’s F.A. Cup-ties when they reached the fifth round – being the star of the side in their defeat at Boothferry Park against Hull City in front of 38,811 spectators,

A week later Brian lost his ever-present record after sustaining an injury in a practice match which required a cartilage operation. He made such a good recovery that he was able to play against Chester 8 weeks later. In the 1965-66 season he made 30 league appearances.

The following season he played in all 46 games in the promotion side. Cool and calm under pressure, clean in handling and adept in positioning, Brian had an outstanding season. Arguably his best game was on a euphoric night at Prenton Park in late April before a 15,555 crowd, when Southport, under constant pressure, beat fellow challengers Tranmere Rovers 2-1.

At the beginning of the 1967~68 season, Brian was in dispute with the club over terms and missed the first 11 games, being replaced by John Armstrong who had been signed from Portsmouth. On settling his differences he played the remaining 35 games when Southport finished in a highly creditable mid-table position.

He made a further 32 appearances in 1968-69 and then retired from League football after 143 League games for Southport. In October 1969 Brian briefly re-signed but his comeback hopes were shattered when his employers objected. He did have a brief spell with Formby towards the end of the 1969-790 season, but has now built up a successful Insurance business of his own in Ainsdale.