Reading F.C.: Wikis


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Reading F.C.
Reading logo
Full name Reading Football Club
Nickname(s) The Royals
Founded 1871
Ground Madejski Stadium
(Capacity: 24,224)
Chairman John Madejski
Manager Brian McDermott
League The Championship
2008–09 The Championship, 4th
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Reading Football Club (pronounced /ˈrɛdɪŋ/) is an association football club, based in the English town of Reading, in Berkshire, who play in the The Championship. Formed in 1871, the club is one of the oldest teams in England, but did not join the Football League until 1920, and never played in the top tier of English football until the 2006–07 season.

The club holds the record for the number of successive league wins at the start of a season (13 wins at the start of the 1985-86 Third Division campaign) and also the record for the number of points gained in a professional league season (106 points in the 2005-06 Football League Championship campaign). Reading finished champions of their division on both of these occasions.

Since 1998 they have played at the Madejski Stadium, on the outskirts of Reading. Prior to this they played at Elm Park for 102 years. They are nicknamed The Royals, due to Reading's location in the Royal County of Berkshire, though they were previously known as The Biscuitmen, due to the town's association with Huntley & Palmers. The crest design is based on the club colours, blue and white, a crown representing royal sovereignty for the County of Berkshire and an image of Reading's most famous landmark, the Maiwand Lion.

The club is chaired by John Madejski (who bought the club in 1991). The current manager is ex-chief scout and physio Brian McDermott, who was appointed as manager on 27 January 2010 after taking over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers on 16 December 2009. [1]



The early years

Reading F.C. were formed in 1871. They were originally nicknamed The Biscuitmen after one of the main trades in the town, Huntley & Palmers biscuits, but changed to the Royals in the 1970s, when the company closed their factory[2]. This history is reflected in the name of the club's unofficial fanzine, Hob Nob Anyone?, named after a popular British biscuit.

The club played at Reading Recreation Ground until 1878, before moving on to Reading Cricket Ground (1878–1882), Coley Park (1882–1889) and Caversham Cricket Ground (1889–1896).

The Elm Park years

The last competitive match at Elm Park, against Norwich City

The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a bigger ground and, to this end, the club moved again, to the purpose-built Elm Park on 5 September 1896. When Reading eventually left Elm Park in 1998, it had a capacity of 15,500.

In 1913 Reading toured Italy and beat Genoa 4-2 and A.C. Milan 5-0, narrowly lost 2-1 to Casale, before beating Italian champions Pro Vercelli 6-0 and the full Italian national team 2-0, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write "without doubt, Reading FC are the finest foreign team seen in Italy." Reading were invited back for another tour the following year, but there is no evidence it took place. It is possible it was cancelled due to the imminence of World War I, which claimed the lives of many Reading F.C. players, including Alan Foster, who put a hat-trick past Milan.[3]

Reading were elected to the Third Division of the Football League in 1920, and have spent the majority of the time since then in the third and fourth tiers of the league, with occasional flirtations with the second tier.

Reading's best performance in the FA Cup came in 1926–27 when they lost to eventual winners Cardiff City in the semi-final. The side's moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en-route to their Wembley win over Luton Town.

Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, but were relegated back to the Third Division in 1988. Branfoot left in October 1989, having failed to get the Royals back into the Second Division. His successor, Ian Porterfield, lasted just 18 months before further failures cost him his job. The appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in June 1991 saw Reading move forward.

They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994 and, when McGhee moved to Leicester City halfway through the following season, Reading were in contention for a second successive promotion. 35-year-old striker Jimmy Quinn was put in charge of the first team alongside midfielder Mick Gooding and guided Reading to runners-up in the final Division One table — only to be denied automatic promotion because of the streamlining of the Premier League, from 22 teams to 20. Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League after building up a 2-0 lead over Bolton Wanderers by half time in the final. Two late goals from Bolton forced extra time and the match ended 4-3 to Bolton. Quinn and Gooding's contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the bottom half of Division One.

Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998. The Royals finished that season bottom of Division One and slipped into Division Two.

Move to Madejski Stadium

1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200-seat Madejski Stadium, named after chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew who had previously been reserve team manager before being released. In 2001, Reading became the first football club to register their fans as an official member of their squad, giving the "player" registered with squad number 13 as 'Reading Fans'.[4][5].

Reading returned to Division One in 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two. The following season they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Pardew acrimoniously moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Brighton & Hove Albion's Steve Coppell. Coppell took the Royals to seventh in the Football League Championship, missing out on a place in the play-offs by three points. Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice.[6] They were promoted to English football's top division for the first time in their history.

The 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Striker Dave Kitson became the first player to score for Reading in the Premier League, in a 3–2 win against Middlesbrough[7] The Royals defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in eighth place with 55 points. Reading turned down the chance to play in the Intertoto Cup. The club's top scorer in the league was Kevin Doyle with 13 goals, while top scorer overall was Leroy Lita with 14.

In the run up to their second season in the Premier League, Reading took part in the 2007 Peace Cup in South Korea, playing River Plate, Lyon and Shimizu S-Pulse, but failing to qualify for the final on goal difference.[8] This second season was less successful and Reading were relegated back to the Championship following a terrible loss of form in the second half of the season, before which they had looked set for a mid table finish. Their 7–4 defeat to Portsmouth remains the Premier League's highest aggregate score.

Reading started the 2008–09 season with 15 match unbeaten home run until losing to Southampton. In the second half of the season, they struggled to regain the form and slipped down the table before recovering to finish fourth and qualify for the play-offs[9], where they lost to Burnley in the semi-final. This spelled the end of Steve Coppell's five and a half year reign as manager of the club, as he quit the club just hours after the game.[10] He was replaced by Brendan Rodgers[11], who left the club by mutual consent on 16 December 2009 - Brian McDermott, who has filled a number of roles at the club, was announced as caretaker manager on the same day. [12]


As of 12 March 2010.[13]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Adam Federici
3 Scotland DF Chris Armstrong
4 Mali MF Kalifa Cissé
5 England DF Matthew Mills
6 Iceland MF Brynjar Gunnarsson
7 Republic of Ireland MF Jay Tabb
8 Czech Republic MF Marek Matějovský
9 Republic of Ireland FW Shane Long
10 Republic of Ireland FW Noel Hunt
11 Jamaica MF Jobi McAnuff
14 Mali MF Jimmy Kébé
16 Iceland DF Ívar Ingimarsson (club captain)
17 England MF James Henry
18 Wales FW Simon Church
19 England MF Hal Robson-Kanu
No. Position Player
20 Turkey MF Jem Karacan
21 England GK Ben Hamer
23 Poland FW Grzegorz Rasiak
24 England DF Ryan Bertrand (on loan from Chelsea)
25 Iceland MF Gylfi Sigurðsson
26 Scotland DF Alex Pearce (vice-captain)
29 England FW Nicholas Bignall
32 Bulgaria FW Radoslav Vasilev
34 England MF Brian Howard
35 England DF Shaun Cummings
36 Iceland FW Gunnar Heiðar Þorvaldsson (on loan from Esbjerg fB)
37 Wales MF Jake Taylor
40 England DF Andy Griffin (on loan from Stoke City)
44 Georgia (country) DF Zurab Khizanishvili (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 England DF Liam Rosenior (at Ipswich Town until the end the of the 2009–10 season)
12 Republic of Ireland FW Dave Mooney (at Charlton Athletic until the end the of the 2009–10 season)
22 Republic of Ireland DF Julian Kelly (at Wycombe Wanderers until 15 March 2010)
27 Republic of Ireland MF Scott Davies (at Yeovil Town until 15 April 2010)
28 England MF Michail Antonio (at Southampton until the end of the 2009–10 season)
30 Australia MF Oliver Bozanic (at Aldershot Town until the end of the 2009–10 season)
31 Denmark GK Mikkel Andersen (at Bristol Rovers until the end the of the 2009–10 season)
33 England MF Mitchell Bryant (at Basingstoke Town until the end the of the 2009–10 season)
38 England FW Abdulai Bell-Baggie (at Rotherham United until 12 April 2010)
41 England GK Alex McCarthy (at Yeovil Town until 23 March 2010)

Player of the Season

Season Player
1963/64 Colin Meldrum
1964/65 Colin Meldrum
1965/66 Jimmy Wheeler
1966/67 George Harris
1967/68 Mike Dixon
1968/69 Peter Silvester
1969/70 Steve Death
1970/71 Gordon Cumming
1972/73 Steve Death
1973/74 Steve Death
1974/75 Robin Friday
1975/76 Robin Friday
1976/77 Steve Death
1977/78 Richie Bowman
1978/79 Richie Bowman
1979/80 Mark White
1980/81 Steve Hetzke
1981/82 Jerry Williams
1982/83 Steve Richardson
1983/84 Steve Richardson
1984/85 Steve Wood
1985/86 Steve Wood
1986/87 Kevin Bremner
1987/88 Steve Francis
1988/89 Trevor Senior
1989/90 Martin Hicks
1990/91 Keith McPherson
1991/92 Mick Gooding
1992/93 Mick Gooding
1993/94 Dylan Kerr
1994/95 Shaka Hislop
1995/96 Mick Gooding
1996/97 Trevor Morley
1997/98 Phil Parkinson
1998/99 Phil Parkinson
1999/00 Darren Caskey
2000/01 Martin Butler
2001/02 Graeme Murty
2002/03 James Harper
2003/04 Graeme Murty
2004/05 Dave Kitson
2005/06 Kevin Doyle
2006/07 Ivar Ingimarsson
2007/08 Stephen Hunt
2008/09 Chris Armstrong

Notable former players

In 1999 Reading F.C. commissioned a poll of the supporters' "Player of the Millennium", to determine the club's best ever player. The top ten were:[14]
However, Reading's most successful period in their history to date was from 2005-2008, when they won promotion to the Premier League. Therefore, many other notable players, such as Kevin Doyle are not included in the poll.

Pos. Player
1 Robin Friday
2 Trevor Senior
3= Steve Death
Shaka Hislop
5 Phil Parkinson
6 Alf Messer
7 Jimmy Quinn
8 Michael Gilkes
9 Ronnie Blackman
10 Martin Hicks

Club officials

Board of Directors & Senior club staff

Management team

Honours and achievements

2006, runners-up 1995
1994, runners-up 2002
1926, 1986, runners-up 1932, 1935, 1949, 1952
Semi-finalists 1927
Quarter-finalists 1996, 1998
  • Highest league finish:
Premier League 2007, 8th Place

Managerial honours


  • Longest winning sequence at the start of a season: 13 victories in 1985–86.
  • The first of the clubs who joined the Football League in 1920–22 to score 5000 League goals. Adrian Williams scored the 5000th against Wycombe in September 2000 but, due to a miscalculation, the framed certificate went to Darius Henderson who got the 5001st
  • Most points in a single season in any English professional league: 106 points (2005–06)[15]
  • Reading have lost the two highest scoring matches in the history of the Premier League; Portsmouth 7 Reading 4, 29 September 2007 and Tottenham Hotspur 6 Reading 4, 29 December 2007. Both matches took place in the same season.
  • Most FA Cup defeats of any current Football League team.
  • Longest unbeaten run in English football's second tier - 33 matches (2005–06)
  • Worst ever start to a game by a team in English football - three goals conceded after 5 minutes and 41 seconds v. Manchester United, FA Cup Fifth round replay 2007.[16]

Between 18 August 1979 and 31 January 2009, Reading's Steve Death held the Football League record for the longest time without conceding a league goal, at 1,103 minutes, and comprising 11 consecutive clean sheets. On 31 January 2009, Edwin van der Sar, of Manchester United, passed Death's long-standing mark in the 72nd minute of United's home league match with Everton. At the end of that game, van der Sar had achieved 1,122 minutes of league football without conceding a goal. However, Death retained the Football League record, as the Premier League is not part of the Football League.

Club records

Managerial history

Managers in italics were hired as caretakers.

Manager name From To Duration
Brian McDermott 16 December 2009 Present &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000091.00000091 days
Brendan Rodgers 4 June 2009 16 December 2009 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000195.000000195 days
Steve Coppell 9 October 2003 12 May 2009 &0000000000000005.0000005 years, &0000000000000215.000000215 days
Kevin Dillon 10 September 2003 9 October 2003 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000029.00000029 days
Alan Pardew 16 September 1999 9 September 2003 &0000000000000003.0000003 years, &0000000000000358.000000358 days
Tommy Burns 25 March 1998 16 September 1999 &0000000000000001.0000001 year, &0000000000000175.000000175 days
Alan Pardew 18 March 1998 25 March 1998 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000007.0000007 days
Terry Bullivant 30 June 1997 18 March 1998 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000261.000000261 days
Jimmy Quinn
Mick Gooding
5 January 1995 9 May 1997 &0000000000000002.0000002 years, &0000000000000124.000000124 days
Jimmy Quinn
Mick Gooding
Adrian Williams
Jeff Hopkins
15 December 1994 4 January 1995 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000020.00000020 days
Mark McGhee 10 May 1991 14 December 1994 &0000000000000003.0000003 years, &0000000000000218.000000218 days
John Haselden 30 April 1991 10 May 1991 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000010.00000010 days
Eddie Niedzwicki 1 April 1991 30 April 1991 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000029.00000029 days
Ian Porterfield 14 November 1989 1 April 1991 &0000000000000001.0000001 year, &0000000000000138.000000138 days
Lew Chatterley 23 October 1989 14 November 1989 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000019.00000019 days
Ian Branfoot 31 January 1984 23 October 1989 &0000000000000005.0000005 years, &0000000000000265.000000265 days
Maurice Evans 26 February 1977 31 January 1984 &0000000000000006.0000006 years, &0000000000000339.000000339 days
Charlie Hurley 13 January 1972 26 February 1977 &0000000000000005.0000005 years, &0000000000000044.00000044 days
Jimmy Wallbanks 1 October 1971 13 January 1972 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000104.000000104 days
Jack Mansell 1 April 1969 1 October 1971 &0000000000000002.0000002 years, &0000000000000183.000000183 days
Ray Henderson 1 February 1969 1 April 1969 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000059.00000059 days
Roy Bentley 1 January 1963 1 February 1969 &0000000000000006.0000006 years, &0000000000000031.00000031 days
Harry Johnston 1 November 1955 1 January 1963 &0000000000000007.0000007 years, &0000000000000061.00000061 days
Fred May
James Carter
1 October 1955 1 November 1955 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000031.00000031 days
Arthur Smith 1 June 1952 1 October 1955 &0000000000000003.0000003 years, &0000000000000122.000000122 days
Ted Drake 1 June 1947 1 June 1952 &0000000000000005.0000005 years, &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 days
Joe Edelston 13 April 1939 1 June 1947 &0000000000000008.0000008 years, &0000000000000049.00000049 days
Johnny Cochrane 1 March 1939 13 April 1939 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000043.00000043 days
Billy Butler 1 August 1935 1 March 1939 &0000000000000003.0000003 years, &0000000000000212.000000212 days
Joe Smith 1 June 1931 1 August 1935 &0000000000000004.0000004 years, &0000000000000061.00000061 days
Angus Wylie 1 July 1926 1 June 1931 &0000000000000004.0000004 years, &0000000000000335.000000335 days
Harold Bray 1 October 1925 1 June 1926 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000243.000000243 days
Arthur Chadwick 1 January 1923 1 October 1925 &0000000000000002.0000002 years, &0000000000000273.000000273 days
The Board 11 May 1922 1 January 1923 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000245.000000245 days
Jack Smith 23 December 1920 11 May 1922 &0000000000000001.0000001 year, &0000000000000139.000000139 days
Harry Marshall 23 February 1920 23 December 1920 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.0000000 years, &0000000000000304.000000304 days


Before going out of business in 1992, Aldershot were Reading's biggest rivals [18][19]. There was a strong rift between the two sets of fans, with riots between fans occurring on several occasions. Strong feelings persist between fans of Reading and fans of Aldershot Town, the refounded club in Aldershot. With Aldershot Town rejoining the league in 2008, it remains to be seen whether this traditional rivalry will be reestablished.

During Aldershot's exile, Reading's main local rivalries were with Oxford United and Swindon Town. When the three teams had shared a division, their rivalry was referred to as the "Didcot Triangle".[20] However, the rivalry between Oxford and Swindon is far stronger than between either of the two and Reading, partly due to them both spending most of the last 6–7 years in lower divisions than Reading [21].

Famous supporters

There are few famous confirmed supporters of Reading. However, notable inclusions are:

Reading Women

Reading began their association with women's football when it affiliated with Reading Royals LFC (previously Twyford Comets) in 1988. In May 2006, Reading ended this affiliation and started their own women's team, Reading FC Women.[26] In their very first season they achieved a Southern Region Women's Football League and Cup double[27] and were promoted to the South West Combination Women's Football League. They followed this with an unbeaten 2007/8 League season to gain promotion to the Premier League Northern Division (in which they are competing due to an overload at the Southern).


  1. ^ "Rodgers leaves Reading".,,10306~1907119,00.html. 
  2. ^ "The History of Reading Football Club".,,10306,00.html. 
  3. ^ "The Reading FC Tour of Italy 1913". November 2002. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Loyal Royals' number is up!". 2001-08-06.,,10306~80641,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  5. ^ "Fans given thumbs up for Number 13". 2001-08-09.,,10306~81990,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  6. ^ "Championship Table 2005-06". football365. 2006-07-11. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  7. ^ "Reading 3-2 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. 2006-08-19. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  8. ^ "Peace Cup diary". BBC Berkshire. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  9. ^ "Coca-Cola Football League Championship 2008-2009". football365. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Burnley 1-0 Reading". BBC Sport. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  11. ^ "Brendan Rodgers new Reading manager". Telegraph. 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  12. ^ "McDermott as Caretaker". 2009-12-16.,,10306~1907131,00.html. 
  13. ^ "Player Profiles". Reading F.C..,,10306,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  14. ^ "Player Of The Millennium vote". Reading F.C.. 2008-09-05.,,10306~70546,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  15. ^ "Reading 2-1 QPR". BBC Sport. 2006-04-30. Retrieved 2006-05-04. 
  16. ^ "'It is not often there is honour in defeat' says proud Coppell". The Independent. 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  17. ^ "Fae joins for club record fee". 2007-08-02.,,10306~1083650,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  18. ^,,441097,00.html
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Didcot Triangle/Wallingford Quadrangle". Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  21. ^ Oxford United F.C.#Supporters
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Picadilly Radio Interview". 1985. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  24. ^ "Only two Rs for Arlott - writing and Reading". The Guardian. 2006-03-28.,,1741158,00.html. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Background of our women's team".,,10306~1065210,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  27. ^ "Women secure league & cup double".,,10306~1061182,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 

External links

Simple English

Reading F.C.
Full nameReading Football Club
GroundMadejski Stadium
(Capacity 24,224)
ChairmanJohn Madejski
LeagueLeague Championship
2008/09League Championship, 4th

Reading Football Club are an football club in Reading, Berkshire. The team plays in Football League Championship currently, after being relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2007/08 season. The team play at the Madejski Stadium, named after their owner, John Madejski.

League position

2000/01Second Division3rd
2001/02Second Division2nd
2002/03First Division4th
2003/04First Division9th
2004/05League Championship7th
2005/06League ChampionshipChampions
2006/07Premier League8th
2007/08Premier League18th
2008/09League Championship4th
2009/10League Championship9th

Former position


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