By Rob Nichols
Browse all Boro News articles
Reagan Charles (Martin). On December 26th 2016, peacefully in Oaklands Care Home aged 92. Beloved husband of Jean, much loved dad of Susan, Barbara, Andy, Tim, Martin and Helen, also a granddad, great-grandad, brother and father-in-law.
Martin will be received into The Church of Our Lady, Gale Lane, Acomb at 4pm on Wednesday, January 18th.
The funeral service will take place on Thursday, January 19th at 10am followed by a service for family only at York Crematorium. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu, if desired, to Action for Blind People and Dementia UK. A plate will be provided at the service.
Better known as Martin, winger Charles (Martin) Reagan had been the oldest surviving Boro player having made 24 appearances for us between 1948 and 1951. Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, he died over Christmas at the ripe old age of 92.
I received the above notice through the post today from an anonymous poster, thank you very much indeed for sending it.
His senior career saw him play for eight professional and part time clubs in the post war years, notably York City, Hull City, Boro, Shrewsbury Town, Portsmouth and Norwich City.
Boro paid Hull City a decent sum of £5000 for the winger who went on to score 4 goals including a real landmark, the 1000th League goal for the club.
But Martin Reagan had seen active service in WWII as Staff Sgt Tank Commander in 204 Armoured Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers. Many of his colleagues were killed in an explosion during the conflict.
After hanging up his boots Martin Reagan went into coaching and was national coach for England Women’s football team from 1979 until 1990 with great distinction. Under Reagan England reached a European final and won two Mundialito, little World Cups.
This is what the Spider wrote about Charles (Martin) Reagan for Fly Me To The Moon last season.
Just after the Second World War up popped a young man that was very different. “Our Man” was an outside right. While all our wingers at the time could be described as speedy, this young man was like a bullet out of a gun.
In those days when full backs were just that, they stayed in a defensive position for the whole of the game. Should the ball be on the opposite side of the pitch you would tuck in behind the centre half leaving the winger on his own, unmarked. The centre halves were tall, strong and ugly and hated to be exposed to real speed. The fullback was their cover. If the ball was on your side of the pitch the winger would stand on the half way line, trying to tempt you to come and mark him. If you did your opponent would whip the ball over your head in to the space you had just left. When I say centre halves were ugly, most defenders were ugly.
One of my special treats was to watch the midfield battle in any professional game. Don Revie brought in new tactics at Leeds United, should any Leeds player happen to get roughed up, the whole team wanted to fight. In those days we would laugh at the Italians or Spanish rolling around at the slightest touch. It had to be sorted out so now we have almost a non-contact sport. Players should not be allowed to question the referee. Now we have ended up with two tackles and you are off, it’s just silly.
I remember playing at places like Tow Law, Stanley United, in the second oldest League in the world, the Northern League. As a young man I would keep a good watch for a hairy arsed miner standing on my ankle accidentally. Yet afterwards they always found the time to smile!
What has this got to do with “our man?” Well, because while he was like the above in many ways; he was also the other extreme, so fast he sometimes got to the by-line before the ball or without the ball, control was his great problem. Yes, he was like a bullet out of a gun but it’s not always the answer. He made his debut against today’s opponents, Derby County in 1948, signed from Hull. He managed 25 outings before moving on to Shrewsbury Town. He scored five goals in three years at Middlesbrough.
“Our Man” was the late Charles Reagan better known as Martin Reagan.
HE WAS LIKE A BULLET OUT OF A GUN!