Rams Heritage Trust, in partnership with Field Lane Football Club, have announced the launch of a memorial campaign for Derby football legend, Reginald ‘Reg’ Harrison, with the full support of his family and Derby County Football Club.
Born on 22nd May 1923 in Normanton, Reg Harrison is perhaps best known for his appearance in Derby County’s victorious 1946 FA Cup Final, where his beloved local team defeated Charlton Athletic 4-1 as they lifted the trophy for the first and only time.
Reg played for Derby from the age of 16 as an amateur and signed his professional papers in 1944 whilst serving in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War. He remained at the Rams until 1955 before moving onto Boston United and later Long Eaton United.
After hanging up his boots, Harrison remained in football for a few years as a manager before focusing his career on setting up centres for young people in Derby.
Harrison started in the Derby Leisure Services as a leader at Stockbrook community centre before moving to Chesapeake and later Field Lane. As well as his exploits for the city’s premier footballing side, he also dedicated much of his life to developing grass roots football in Derby and established football teams at each of the community centres where he worked.
Many of those who fondly share memories of Harrison today remember a humble and passionate man who gave assistance and support on and off the pitch while dedicating his life to improving local communities. His achievements were honoured by Derby City Council in 2019 when he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Derby.
A great testament to his legacy is that all of those clubs established by Harrison are still flourishing today.
About The Campaign
To recognise the work of Reg Harrison and his importance to football in Derby, Rams Heritage Trust have launched a crowdfunding campaign for the people of Derby to recognise his life’s work.
To achieve this goal, they have commissioned sculptor Andy Edwards to craft a one-and-a-fifth x life-sized bust of Reg Harrison which will sit proudly beside the entrance to Field Lane Football Club, one of the clubs he founded in 1982 and close to the family home in Alvaston where Reg resided until his passing at the age of 97 on 17th September 2020.
Edwards has worked on similar memorial projects in the past with his most famous works including the Steve Bloomer bust and Dave Mackay and Brian Clough & Peter Taylor statues at Pride Park Stadium.
The Heritage Trust are incredibly passionate about creating a lasting and visible memorial to Harrison for generations of Derbeians to enjoy and are very confident a fitting tribute to a local legend will be created.
The bust will sit on a 5ft plinth provided by local construction entrepreneur and Rams fan Ian Hodgkinson.
The fundraising target for the campaign is £8,000, which will cover the cost of the bust’s manufacture and installation. Fundraising commenced on Friday 16th October. Any funds raised over the target amount will be split between Field Lane FC, to fund development of the club, and Rams Heritage Trust to commit to future memorial projects.
Who Are Rams Heritage Trust?
Rams Heritage Trust was conceived in late 2019 as a result of a series of collaborations during the Club, City, Community exhibition at Gallery 5 in Derby Guildhall. Created by Derby County supporters and memorabilia collectors, the Trust is dedicated to promoting Derby County heritage through exhibitions, events and projects and involving fans and local community groups throughout.
Who Are Field Lane Football Club?
Field Lane Football Club is a non-profit making organisation, run by volunteers, for the benefit of children and young adults, who wish to pursue the sport of competitive football. The club was founded in 1982 by a group of local parents who recognised the need to organise sporting activities in their community.