When Coach Graeme left Global back in February 2012, I felt abandoned. It didn’t help that I saw the news of his resignation on the Internet. I was relatively new to football then, and he was like the grandfather I never had. I was definitely upset, but I understood his reasons for leaving. I wasn’t sure if I would welcome any coach into my life after that, and then I met Coach Brian Reid.
In early 2013, Global hired Brian Reid, the former Ayr United manager, to coach Global. I still remember the first time I met him. We had lunch at Racks with the team, and I had to share the same table with the Scottish colossus. Fonz introduced me to him as the boy who doesn’t eat—which isn’t true, by the way—and I was given the Reid glare. Not sure what it meant, but I thought maybe it was “Nice to meet you!” in Brian Reid jargon. He was talking to Fonz most of the time, but I was fascinated by his confidence and attitude. No bickering took place, surprisingly, but I was just laughing about something the whole time like a crazy person. As my favorite cliché goes, the rest is history.
We have had so many great memories together during his stay in the Philippines. For the record, I interviewed Coach Reid twice, as the Global head coach and as the Azkals U-23 head coach, and each was an entirely new experience. He proved to us that he is indeed a top coach who is worth admiring for the rest of our lives. My sister and I should have the rights to write his biography! I had several Starbucks sessions with him, and I have never consumed so much cake in my life. I heard him scream and shout (not at me, thank goodness!) more than my mother had ever screamed during her lifetime. I learned to value timekeeping more than I already do. I was forced to learn how to edit a Wikipedia page even if it was against my will. I had never been called a “top man” until I met him, and it is a compliment that I still haven’t digested.
He may be known for his physical and mental toughness—I know he is capable of throwing me out of the window with one hand or giving me a hair dryer treatment—but I have a different Coach Reid in my book. If only you could see him from where I’m standing, it would change your life. We can just look at each other and know that we’re thinking (or making fun) of the same thing. His sense of humor is impeccable. He is clever, witty, and funny. He is undoubtedly a good storyteller with the gift of gab. I can talk to him all day without getting bored. Such was his brilliance and eloquence! He was the full package, and I was the only one who knew. Ah yes, I miss him already!
If Coach Graeme was the grandfather I never had, Coach Reid would probably be the cool uncle who would defend you and laugh with you in good times and in bad. He knows how to cheer me up. He knows how I feel without having to narrate everything. He knows when it is time to give some advice or impart wisdom. And he knows when I’m lying, sadly!
I will not recount all his good deeds because it might tarnish his tough-as-leather image, but he has done enough to find a special place in my heart. He is probably the best Christmas present I got in 2013, only I got it in advance and lost it before the year ended.