Footballer to walk in great grandad's boots

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WHEN Crowland Town take to the field on Sunday for a charity fund-raising game against a team of Posh legends, one player will have to look no farther than his own family for his inspiration.

WHEN Crowland Town take to the field on Sunday for a charity fund-raising game against a team of Posh legends, one player will have to look no farther than his own family for his inspiration.Because Crowland centre forward Michael Craig (21) is following in the footsteps – or rather the stud marks – of his great grandfather, Charles “Chick” Reed, who played for the side in the twilight of a career which included stints with six professional clubs.

A no-nonsense inside right who combined a physical approach with a footballing brain, the well-travelled Chick enjoyed success with Lincoln City and also played for Sheffield United, Mansfield Town, Chesterfield, Notts County, and Southport.

His great grandson said he hoped to match his ancestor’s robust approach.

Michael said: “My dad has told me a bit about him, but I only know a few bits and bobs. I am a centre forward, though, and I would love to follow in his footsteps, although I am getting on a bit to turn professional at 21. He was hard but fair, and I think that describes me.

“I am playing upfront on my own and so you have to hold the ball up and use your strength when you’re against four defenders.”

Born in Holbeach in 1912, Chick started out in local football as a teenager with Spalding United before breaking into the professional game with Sheffield United after a successful trial, scoring his first goal against Birmingham City.

He spent two seasons with the Blades before moving to Lincoln, making his debut in Division Two against Swansea Town on September 5, 1932.

He went on to score 28 goals in 62 games spread over two spells with the Imps, which ended with a game against Rotherham United on December 9, 1935.

But his most famous feat came while playing for Southport against Hartlepool on April 19, 1935.

Picking up the ball in his own half, he ran 70 yards and shrugged off four challenges before smacking it into the net to score a memorable goal.

Michael’s dad, Dave, said his grandfather died in 1964, aged 52, at his home in Queens Road, Spalding.

He added: “He wasn’t a tall guy – only 5ft 8ins – and my mum says he was a clever inside right.

“But he did commit a lot of fouls.”

The Posh Legends versus Crowland game kicks off at Snowden Field, Crowland, at 11am on Sunday. A car boot sale starts at 9am, and a family fun day with a hog roast, bouncy castles, and a raffle is also planned.