The Masons Arms Pub launches headed up by former footballing star Nicky Reid

A former Manchester City Blackburn Rovers football star has thrown open the doors of the freshly revamped Masons Arms pub.
Nicky Reid, 56, has given the watering hole at the top of Harpers Lane in Chorley, a facelift transforming it into a traditional Real Ale pub.
A former Manchester City Blackburn Rovers football star has thrown open the doors of the freshly revamped Masons Arms pub. Nicky Reid, 56, has given the watering hole at the top of Harpers Lane in Chorley, a facelift transforming it into a traditional Real Ale pub.

A former Manchester City Blackburn Rovers football star has thrown open the doors of the freshly revamped Masons Arms pub.

Nicky Reid, 56, has given the watering hole at the top of Harpers Lane in Chorley, a facelift transforming it into a traditional Real Ale pub.

Opening day on Saturday, July 1 was very busy but custom has steadied since then.

“The first day was manic,” said Nicky.

“With being a complete novice I’ve had a lot of help from family and friends.

“It will be a steep learning curve, so many people were here on Saturday but Sunday was more steady and easier to cope with.”

Nicky, who lives in Withnell Fold, played in one of the most iconic FA Cup Finals ever - the 100th Cup Final between Man City and Spurs at Wembley in 1981.

Tommy Hutchinson opened the scoring for City in the 30th minute, but scored an own-goal in the 79th minute to bring Spurs level and the game eneded 1-1.

Spurs won the replay at Wembley 3-2.

The game was memorable for the iconic Ricky Villa goal in the 76th minute when the Argentinian danced round several City players and slotted the ball home.

The goal was voted Wembley Goal of the Century in 2001.

Nicky has been asked about “that goal” a million times and says it was ‘nowt to do with him’ and that he was at the other side of the pitch when it was scored.

It has taken Nicky and his partner Cheryl Folan, 27, along with help from countless family and friends, about three months to give the pub a make over.

“We’ve reopened hopefully tastefully,” said Nicky.

“We’ve renovated the bar area, flagged the floors and reopened the fireplaces.

“We’re selling a selection of real ales, lagers, ciders and Guinness.

“It’s still a work in progress.

“I like drinking real ale and I spent most of my time a pub drinking and I just wondered what it would be like to own one.

“It doesn’t have to conquer the world it just has to make a living.”

The Masons Arms is open Mondays to Thursdays from 2pm-11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 12noon-1am.

Nicky is calling for anyone who has old pictures of the pub to let him know. He would like to display the images in the pub. Email nickreid.masons@yahoo.com

Meanwhile a bar with a difference will soon be opening in the centre of Chorley, if plans are given the green light.

Stephen Hornby is seeking permission to change the former American Soda shop in Fazakerley Street into a new bar and restaurant.

It is believed the design will look like the inside of a shed - decorated with wood and rusty corrugated roofing.

The aim is to cater for young professionals and students, offering something different to what is already available in the town which has recently seen a growth in the micropub scene.

A selection of food will be available at the bar and there are plans to host live music at the venue, catering for a variety of tastes.

Should planning permission be granted, a Rastafarian band is already being lined up for the opening night. The planning application will go before Chorley Council in coming weeks.