Football Remembers: Reg Harrison's story

5 Nov 2020

Members of Derby County's academy met a former player who won the first post-War FA Cup final

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Reg Harrison's name is etched into the history books, as a member of the winning team in the first post-War FA Cup final, with Derby County beating Charlton Athletic in 1946.

"I was young. I was still learning," said Reg, who passed away in September this year, aged 97.

"I got a few goals but I was making them most of the time. They used to belt the ball out to me and I was down that wing and putting it across again."

Prior to that memorable day at Wembley Stadium, Reg's fledgling football career was halted at the age of 18 as he was called up to serve with the Royal Engineers in World War II, training officers to build bridges.

Despite being 40 miles from home in Newark, his wife would cycle on a tandem to see him.

"It was (hard to be separated), but if they take you, you've got to go," he said.

Offering advice

Reg went on to play a total of 254 matches for Derby.

Asked by two of the club's current Academy players for advice on how to achieve their own success in the game, Reg said: "You have to get a bit of luck I think to get in the first team.

"But use the ball. Don't hang on to it and try to dribble your way all the way through."

Harrison was talking in a visit organised by the Premier League's Education department in partnership with Big Ideas as part of Football Remembers WWII.

The partnership pays tribute from the football family to all those – players and supporters – who served their country during World War II.

Also in this series

Part 1: Arthur House's story
Part 2: Tony Collins' story
Part 3: Josser Watling's story
Part 4: Gordon Astall's story
Part 5: Charles White's story
Part 6: Charlie Chase's story
Part 7: Bobby Brown's story
Part 8: Bill Blount's story
Part 9: Tommy Docherty's story
Part 11: Dudley Kernick's story 

See: Football Remembers WWII

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