Daughter pays tribute to Dundee United ‘soccer juggler’ and city legend Jimmy Reid

JImmy reid, known as the 'soccer juggler', ran a shop in Dundee in later life.

A former Dundee United player known as the “soccer juggler” whose shop became an institution in the city has died at the age of 81.

Jimmy Reid, from Kirkton, died peacefully in Ballumbie Court Care Home on Monday following a long battle with dementia.

He is survived by his wife Freda, brothers Martin, Tommy and Peter, sister Margaret, daughter Tracy and grandchildren Neil, Suzanne and Scott.

Jimmy had two spells at Tannadice between 1955 and 1960, making 76 appearances and scoring 27 goals.

The Dundee-born player also played for Bury, Stockport County and East Fife before opening a shop in the city’s Seagate area, Jimmy Reid’s variety store.

Tracy said her dad was never happier than when he was haggling over a deal with Dundonians, many of whom he counted as friends and not customers.

Schoolteacher Tracy, now based in Manchester, said: “He was a real Dundee character known by almost everybody from provosts to street cleaners.

Jimmy Reid in action for Dundee United in 1956.

“Going to Jimmy Reid’s Dundee shop in the Seagate was an institution for people of all ages for almost 50 years.

“He will be sadly missed by a great many Dundonians and, of course, all his family.”

An old-fashioned inside forward, Jimmy was 5ft 4in and weighed just over 10 stone when he was signed by United, then in the old second division, from St Joseph’s at the age of 18.

A skillful ball player who was brought up at 63 Helmsdale Avenue, Jimmy trained throughout the summer months and his dedication paid off when he caught the eye of English clubs by scoring 16 goals for United during the first half of season 1956-57.

He moved to Bury in a swap deal in 1957, where he tested himself against players such as England and Fulham captain Johnny Haynes.

He met his future wife Freda in a Bury dance hall and later moved to Stockport County, before returning to Tannadice for the 1959-60 season.

He then appeared for East Fife and junior sides, before finally concentrating on his store in the Seagate.

Up until 2007, the store was a magnet for city shoppers, who could lay their hands on everything from cheap bacon to watch batteries and be entertained by Jimmy behind the counter.

His funeral will be held at St Columba’s, Kirkton, on October 17 at 10am followed by interment at Balgay Cemetery.

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