FOR five years Ewood Park was home to defender Nicky Reid – but these days the tough tackling ace feels more at home behind a bar.

Now the footballer-turned-landlord is hoping his home brew can become a fixture at the real ale pub he runs.

The 57-year-old, who made 174 appearances for Rovers between 1987 and 1992, wants to taste success with the pale ale he has created with the help of local brewers.

Mr Reid, who lives in Withnell Fold, took over at The Masons Arms in Chorley with his partner Cheryl 14 months ago.

He said: “I was youth team physio at Preston and I'd had a few problems with arthritis.

"I wondered how long I could still do it for as I was struggling to run.

“I like real ales and going to real ale pubs with my partner and we decided we wanted a go at buying a pub and create our own real ales."

The couple took on the pub in Harpers Lane last summer and with the help of Joe Coulson from Leyland Home Brew they got some help and advice on how to creating their own tipple.

They have launched their first batch of Masons Pale Ale and are now looking to start work on a second.

Mr Reid, who appeared in the 1981 FA Cup Final for Manchester City and who was part of the 1992 promotion winning Rovers squad, says the first pints of his own ale received the thumbs up from punters.

He said: “Whether they were just being nice about it or not I don’t know but they said they loved it.

“I want to get it going properly and maybe stock one or two of our own home-brewed ales at the pub.

"We're loving life at the Masons Arms. It is not too far from where we live and it's a cosy little pub with lots of character and an original fireplace."

He added: “I enjoyed everywhere I played football.

“But I had five seasons at Rovers and in the last one it culminated with going up to the Premier League even though I was not in the play-off team.

“I still look out for Rovers results as my two sons support them and they always tell me how they are getting on.”