Defender pays tribute to Baggies fans and team-mates
STEVEN Reid insists it has been an ‘honour and a privilege’ to play for Albion after his four-year spell at the club came to an end.
The 33-year-old right-back has not been offered a new contract at The Hawthorns, with his current deal set to expire this summer.
Reid initially joined the Baggies on loan from Blackburn towards the climax of the 2009/10 promotion-winning season from the Championship.
His impressive displays led to a permanent move in the summer of 2010 and he has since racked up a total of 87 appearances, including 12 from the bench, scoring four goals.
Reid now plans to enjoy a short summer break before completing his UEFA A licence coaching course at St George’s Park and then weighing up his options.
And as he reflects on his time in an Albion shirt, Reid will do so with plenty of fond memories.
“It’s been amazing,” he said.
“When I first joined obviously I was on loan in that Championship season towards the end and was lucky enough to help the club cross the line and get promoted.
“That summer was a big summer for me, I was let go by Blackburn and there were doubts about my fitness and whether I would even get back to playing regularly at the top level.
“For the club to put their faith and trust in me gave me a massive boost at that stage in my career.
“It’s ended up being a great four years at the club.”
And Reid has some special words for both Baggies supporters and his team-mates.
“The fans have been absolutely first class from the moment I signed on loan. I remember when it got to the summer and there were chants of ‘sign him up’,” he said.
“I’ve had a great relationship with the fans from the start. They’ve stuck with me through the injuries. The fans have been so generous and supportive.
“They’re absolutely first class.
“For them, it’s obviously disappointing this season went as it did because the three campaigns before that were almost non-stop success with finishes of mid-table and higher.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to play for those supporters and my team-mates as well.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be in a dressing room that’s been full of great lads who have wanted to work hard, improve themselves, improve the club and make sure we’ve had success in every season.”
Reid, who gained 23 caps for the Republic of Ireland, enjoyed long stays at both Millwall and Rovers before linking up with Albion.
His time at The Hawthorns, however, has not always been one entirely filled with highs.
Reid has had to battle through spells in the treatment room on his way to spending an eye-catching 11 successive seasons in the Barclays Premier League.
“There’s been some difficult times, I’ve got be honest,” he said.
“I’ve obviously had a few injuries during my time at the club.
“Looking back at the amount of games I’ve played and the results we’ve got in those games, I can look back with pride that I’ve had an impact in the games I’ve played.”