Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Note From Jon

.....on a topic very close to his heart for all sorts of reasons:
Cannot let this historic weekend go by without mention of the wonderful achievement of Reading FC gaining promotion to the Premier League. It's a strange feeling; a mixture of an end of an era and the beginning of another, for someone like me who lived a major part of their life with Reading Football Club as their main raison d'etre. From 1978 to 1998 I never missed a home game at Elm Park - until we moved up to Lincolnshire, which coincided with Reading's move to the Mad Stad, I lived my life around Reading FC.

So many memories of the terraces and division 4 football. So many memories.....some sad....some good.....but supporting Reading was always about staying power through the lows rather than the highs.

So, to Reading, thank you and congratulations. You'll always have a place in my heart. My thoughts today go to those who wore the hooped shirts over the years and stood with me on the terraces.....some of whom are no longer with us......and also to those who gave their all to the Royals but never got to play in the Premier League or even first division. To my many heroes, Percy Freeman, Steve Death, Trevor Senior, Les Chappell, Terry Hurlock, Dean Horrix, Robin Friday, John Alexander et al.

To Maurice Evans who epitomises the Reading FC I knew and loved and who passed away far too early. Thank you and God Bless...... COME ON YOU ROYALS!!


chris said...

Great post :-)

As the other half of a MuddlePuddle blogringer who is a current Reading FC season ticket holder having started going in 85 I still remember *some* of those you remember; I remember when Deano died too :-(

This success is fantastic, but at the same time I feel I am losing something. I started supported Reading because they were my home-town team not because they were successful. I loved it because they weren't. I enjoyed watching us go 4-0 down to Orient (I think) at home in the Freight-Rover whatever and singing we want 5. I am not sure the premiership is going to be quite so funny.

So fave home game during your period. 4-3 against Plymouth having been 3-0 down with 20 to go. A night I will never forget.


Nikki said...

Story about that Plymouth game, and it shows what I mean about having lived my life by Reading FC. I did miss that game - everyone remembers it, I know, but it was the only one I did miss!! Mum had just been taken into hospital for the final time as she was was Battle Hospital of all places... and you could see the floodlights from the ward. Obviously a choking memory...

Most memorable games for me were
Reading 5 Watford 3 aet
Reading 7 Barnsley 0
Oxford 1 Reading 5 (OK, at the Manor)
Reading 4 Grimsby 0...and all the epics against Mark McGhee's side

My first game was back in 1974. I was born in Reading (Battle Hospital) and lived most of my early life in Dunsden, then Binfield Heath before moving to Bracknell when I met Nikki, so yes, they were my local side. It was a big wrench to leave Reading (and not just the football either) and it was one of the hardest decisions I ever made.

The humour of the Elm Park terraces was great. Truly wonderful, but things changed in the mid 90s and the diehards who went rain and shine in crowds of little more than 3000 seemed to have their humour go unappreciated by a new generation who couldn't relate to the sarcasm, irony and self-deprecation! It did start to lose something then, sadly.

Thanks for passing by Chris, it's good to have found a fellow Reading-ite!