A legend returns

Buxton FC v FC United, Mark Reed celebrates another goal, earlier a presentation had been made to mark 150 goals for the club.
Buxton FC v FC United, Mark Reed celebrates another goal, earlier a presentation had been made to mark 150 goals for the club.

MARK REED has long been a fans’ favourite during his time at Buxton FC.

He is the club’s all-time top scorer and an ever-present threat so it’s no surprise that club officials and supporters alike were delighted when he re-joined the team last week, after playing only around 30 minutes of football with Chester FC, who he joined at the start of the season.

And Reed too is thrilled to be back at the club he calls “home.”

“I’m just made up that Reedy (Buxton boss John Reed) was willing to take me back,” the popular striker told the Advertiser. “At the end of the day, I just want to play football again.

“The club has always been very welcoming to me and my wife. It’s a good family club. The people there are fantastic.

“I just feel like I’m at home when I’m there.”

Reed’s incredible goal tally and never-give-up attitude have earned him respect and admiration from Buxton’s fans, with whom he has long had a special relationship. “I’m a confidence player,” he commented. “When I played for Chester I got some stick from the supporters there but when I’m at Buxton, I’m a different player because the supporters cheer me on.”

It’s been a tough start to the season for the Bucks and manager John Reed has been frantically looking for replacements after the departures of key players such as skipper Gregg Anderson, so does Mark, 30, feel any pressure coming back into the squad knowing his side needs to try and turn things around?

“Yes, but pressure’s good,” he commented. “You’ve got to be able to deal with it. It’s not been the best start and hopefully I can come in and give the team and everyone a lift.”

He added: “I’m just happy to be playing football. Getting a full 90 minutes on Saturday was great because I only played something like 36 minutes for Chester. So there are no targets for me at all, I’m just really pleased to be back at the club and I’ll do what I can to say thanks for bringing me back.

“I think we’ve got to be ambitious and be aiming for the play-offs. It’s a very open league but we’ve got the players and are capable of getting there.”

But Reed won’t have long to settle back into the Buxton squad before facing his old team-mates at Chester at the Silverlands on October 12.

“I’ve tried to leave on good terms, I’ve tried to be professional like I am with everyone but I’m looking forward to scoring against them obviously to show them what they’re missing,” he said.

And Reed knows that he has one person in particular to thank for giving him the chance to return to the Silverlands. Speaking of his relationship with boss John Reed, he said: “It is everything. No other football club in the country would take me on these terms, trust me to be professional and keep myself fit and get to games on my own. Reedy has been fantastic. Without John Reed at the club, I wouldn’t be back here.”

On Saturday (September 24), Buxton entertain Mickleover Sports in the Evo-Stik Premier Division (kick-off 3pm), followed by a visit to Ashton United next Wednesday (September 28, kick-off 7.45pm).

A week on Saturday, Buxton’s reward for their FA Cup victory at Louth is a home tie against Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals Rushall Olympic, who won 2-1 at the Silverlands earlier in the season.

Commenting on the return of Mark Reed, Buxton FC Chairman Tony Tomlinson said: “Everyone is delighted about Mark Reed’s signing, and that certainly lifted our spirits at Louth. His transfer back, for a four-figure fee, shows the board’s determination to regain the momentum lost in the early weeks of the season.”