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Behind the bar with Billy Reid

After six Premier League matches, Albion have hit the bar three times, but for assistant head coach Billy Reid, hitting the bar is likely to become a regular occurrence, after signing up for an exciting opportunity away from the football field.

By Kieran Cleeves • 24 September 2019

The charismatic Scotsman will play the role of a pub landlord in ‘Vindication Swim’ — a Brighton-based feature film produced by 19-year-old Albion supporter Elliott Hasler, who reached out following Reid’s summer arrival.

Reid said, “I got a letter from Simon Hasler, who’s Elliott’s father, and he told me the story that they’re Brighton season-ticket holders and Elliott is an up-and-coming, young film producer.

“I looked him up straight away, because I thought it may have been a hoax or someone having me on, but we kept in touch and I had to come for an audition before they offered me the part.

“I then got the news that I was going to be the landlord of the local pub in Brighton, which was quite funny because I’ve never pulled a pint before, so I’m looking forward to doing that.

“The film is based on a Brighton lady swimming the channel — giving something back to the fans and community is really important, so I’m honoured to be given a part in Elliott’s production.”

Billy Reid being interviewed at the Cricketers pub in Brighton

Reid spoke to Premier League Productions at the Cricketers Pub in Brighton, where he got the chance to pull his first pint, and the Scotsman insists he’s cool about making his on-screen acting debut.

“I’ve not been in front of the mirror yet — once I get my lines I’ll probably do that. It was a pleasure to meet the other actors and get a feel for my costume.

“I’m not worried about the acting element at all, I’m looking forward to that. I’ve mentioned it to a couple of the players, and they’ve had a laugh, but we’ll see how it goes.”

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Cameo role for Billy!

Reid’s decision to step forward comes as no surprise following the unique activities Albion’s coaching staff became used to at Ostersund, and the 56-year-old spoke of the social and cultural benefits.

“The players and staff put on a ballet production in the local theatre [at Ostersund]. It was completely out of my comfort zone, but the team morale and bonding we got from it was special.

“At first players and staff were worried about stepping over that line, but come the end of the show, everyone was taking part and enjoying it, and it was a real pleasure to be involved in.

“It’s about taking you out of your comfort zone. You have to go and perform, just the same as a football player that has to go out on the pitch and perform.

“It certainly worked for us at Ostersund, although I’m not too sure if Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn would be looking forward to Swan Lake at Brighton!”

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