"He had every reason to be bitter with rugby but he loved it" - Keith Wood's tribute to Paddy Reid

Keith Wood tells the fascinating and challenging story of the late, great Paddy Reid on Off The Ball

Paddy Reid

Paddy Reid ©INPHO/PRESSEYE/William Cherry

Keith Wood has paid tribute to former Ireland rugby star Paddy Reid who has passed away at the age of 91.

Reid won the Grand Slam with Ireland in 1948 and tonight on Off The Ball, Keith spoke about the Limerick native who he held in great esteem.

"He was a great man," said Keith on the show, before touching on Reid's unique career path after the Five Nations triumph in '48.

"Paddy played in the centre. He was an incredibly small, slim guy and he went and played rugby league for Huddersfield the following season, got injured very quickly and came back to Ireland. And because he'd gone and played rugby league, he got a 40-year ban from rugby union. He couldn't coach, he couldn't go into the grounds, he couldn't be seen around. Now, of course he did under assumed names and all those sort of things.

"But the first time he came back to rugby was in 1989 and he was my first coach in Garryowen and he was just lightning. He had every reason in the world to be bitter beyond all belief with rugby but he loved it."