A TALENTED young footballer who was once a member of Sheffield United Academy is languishing behind bars after he was caught dealing crack cocaine and heroin in a spectacular fall from grace.
Elijah Reid, aged 21, once a budding professional soccer player, was released from Sheffield United Academy in 2009.
Two years later he was selling heroin and crack cocaine from a BMW in the car park of St Mary’s Church - a stone’s throw from his old stomping ground at Bramall Lane.
After leaving the Blades, Reid, who was on schoolboy terms with Rotherham United before he was signed by Sheffield United, played for Frickley Athletic and Harrogate Town.
But he turned to drug dealing after he failing to make the grade and was this week locked up for six years.
Reid was jailed after being caught in a huge police sting which netted dozens of drug dealers selling crack cocaine and heroin on the streets of Sheffield.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Reid, of Stafford Road, Norfolk Park, sold crack and heroin to undercover police officers on eleven occasions in various city locations including Leadmill Road and, the car park of St Mary’s Church and outside The Royal Standard on Edmund Road - a pub popular with Sheffield United fans.
Payment was made in either cash or designer clothes.
Police raided his home and found crack cocaine with a street value of £3,500 and equipment used for cutting the drugs into street deals.
He admitted supplying cocaine and heroin and possessing cocaine with intent to supply.
Reid, who played right back or in midfield, was on schoolboy terms with Rotherham United between 2005-6.
He was a member of the Blades Academy from 2006-7 to 2008-2009. He signed for Frickley Athletic in 2008-9 and has also played matches for Harrogate Town.