Paul Reaney was born in Fulham in West London, but left at an
early age when the family moved to Leeds, attending Cross Green
school in the city. He spent a year in various jobs - mainly as a
motor mechanic - before joining Leeds' groundstaff at the age of
16. He said: "I always wanted to be a professional footballer - I
knew I wouldn't be happy doing anything else."
'Speedy' was a great full-back who had all the qualities needed
in both attack and defence. He was quick on the overlap and could
produce a pinpoint cross, but he became well-known for his
goal-line clearances, appearing out of nowhere to cancel out chance
A broken leg in a league game against West Ham at the end of the
1970 season ruled him out of the Cup Final against Chelsea - and
also put him out of contention for the England World Cup Squad.
With a bit more luck he could easily have won more than the three
full caps he did collect.
He had a testimonial year in 1975-76, culminating in a match
against Newcastle on May 3 1976, and remained with the club for two
seasons beyond that. After 18 years at Elland Road, he moved on to
Bradford for a couple of years before moving out to Australia to
finish his career. He was named Australia's Player of the Year in
1980, and returned to England when his playing days finally
John Briggs says: I played in the goals for the school team
Cross Green C.S. Paul played centre forward. We got to the schools
cup final. The opposing centre forward was Mike O'Grady who played
for Corpus Christi.
Neil Reaney says: I saw Paul Reaney play, too young to go to
school with him, he never drinks so wouldn't be found anywhere near
a pub, but he has had me decorate his house (for nothing of course)
'Stan' is my Old Man! One quite humurous story went something like
this: He was playing a game at Anfield in the late sixties and
against his old adversary Ian Callaghan, they used to kick lumps
out of each other and as they went for a header Callaghan caught
'Stan' on the nose and broke it. Les Cocker attending to another
injured white could not accompany Dad to the dressing room to be
seen to so the Liverpool physio at the time had to tend him. When
Dad moved his hand from his face the physio was aghast at how much
swelling there was on and around the nose. Stan promptly jumped of
the treatment table, looked in the mirror, turned to the physio and
screamed 'it's always that size you cheeky b*****d!!!!!!
Lesley Sagar (née Yearwood) says: Many years ago at the
London Hospital I was the nurse on duty when Paul was brought in
with his broken leg. He very kindly asked me if I would like his
jersey, not being English I was not quite sure why he thought I
would want a smelly shirt, but I accepted it not wanting to offend.
Since then I married an English man who informed me of the honour
that was bestowed on me! I did keep the shirt for many years. I
don't remember much about Paul except that he was very brave. I
think they transferred him out of the London the next day. That was
many, many years ago, and I hope life has been kind to him.
mark says: sorry if this is an old debate but is Paul mixed race
i.e of West indian or African descent? If so then surely Paul was
the first 'black man' to play for England ...if Halle Berry is a
Black woman or a "woman of colour" then Paul Reaney should hold
that honour (for the records) and not Viv Anderson.
Wayne Price says: Im a 22year old Leeds Fan from South Wales so
obviously never saw Paul play. My Dad is also a Leeds fan and
caught the back end of Pauls leeds career and even now says he was
the best right back Leeds ever had. Ive got the the' Leeds
United:The glory years ' video and Paul was an ever present in that
Great Revie team. What I want to know is how did this guy only play
three times for his country ? Who else was around at the time ? We
are talking about a guy who was an ever present for one of the best
teams in Europe for 10 straight years !! 3 caps is a disgrace. Hope
You are well Paul. leeds fans never forget a legend and you are up
there with the rest of them.
Paul Skellett a Liverpool Fan says: Jimmy Greenoff was the best
players for Leeds United in the early sixties.
Michael Grace says: A great man and player who I had the
pleasure to meet and speak to on more than one occasion this
weekend (May Day Bank Holiday 2003). He is still very fit and is
coaching. He was very happy Sunday evening unlike me a West Ham fan
after Leeds beat Arsenal.
A Houston says: I've had the wonderful opportunity up until
recently to work with Paul on matchdays down at Elland Road. He is
a total lunatic but also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
Good luck Paul, you are a true legend.
Martin Reaney says: paul reaney is my cousin
Martin Reaney says: he is my grandads cousin
Dan Reaney says: hello my name is dan reaney and paul is my
grandad . he is a good cathlic man and i am proud of his doings in
the game of football. when he was young he was a caddy at a golf
club for a bit of cash .he has only had 1 hair cut in his life and
he uses shoe pollish on his head. xx dan reaney xx
lewis parry says: my son Richard had a coaching session with
Paul at a Haven holiday centre in the 80's. Paul made Richard
captain,and was a good motivator, and a really kind person.
Yorkshrman says: Paul was one of my favourite players, growing
up watching the "Revie" team in the 60s / 70s. Iwas lucky enough to
meet him in one of the hospitality suites a couple of years ago
.... afraid I turned into a gibbering 14 year old again, rather
than a professional 40-something! Thanks for all the great
memories, Paul ...
david kamasz says: hi there, i had the opportunity to play
football with paul for an australian team called newcastle kb
united in 1980-81 even then he was so fit for his age.being from
leeds myself i used to ask him about the glory days during the
revie era it was facinating to listen to the stories,hope your
doing well paul,all the best,,kama,,,,
Amefika says: hey paul is one of the best black footballer he
even represent england as a black man thats great cause in those
days england people hate blacks thank u paul