Reading FC History
2005-06 Signed Print
A lovely print issued to mark the club's first promotion to English football's top-flight. This was achieved with a record breaking points tally of 106, the Royals losing just two league games all season. To be fair, that record looks to be under serious threat from this season's Burnley team.
Six of these charming little booklets covering the English and Scottish Leagues were issued by the Amalgamated Press through their comic 'The Champion'. Reading finished as runners-up after going a second consecutive season unbeaten in the league at home, but, as in the previous campaign, poor away form cost them any chance of promotion. The Biscuit boys lost by the only goal in the FA Cup to Arsenal in front of Elm Park's second and last attendance to top 30,000.
1997-98 Player Photos
These were among a batch of photographs I was given towards the end of last year, but you never quite know what will be included. So I was delighted to find a near full set of player portraits from the club's last season at Elm Park (as bad as that turned out to be!)
This postcard was sent the same day Reading lost an FA Cup tie against Blackburn at Elm Park on the 22nd February 1913, with the writer mentioning he'd had a great time despite the home team's 2-1 defeat. Thousands of spectators brought tin rattles, others horns and bugles, and, according to the 'Berks and Oxon Advertiser' 'now and again there was a sharp staccato and a puff of blue smoke indicating the discharge of a pistol'! The same paper also notes that a 'cinematogragh operator' – film cameraman to you and me – was in attendance, though sadly I think the footage has long since disappeared. Incidentally, although the ground may be long gone, the house in the background with the distinct diamond pattern can still be seen today via Google Maps.
I've managed to get hold of some lovely stuff this year, and have been lucky that much of it has been donated to me. There's a wide variety including cigarette cards, trade cards, team and player photos, newspaper and magazine items etc dating from 1904 to the present day and these are dotted around the site, but all of the new additions can be seen here. If you have anything similar to dispose of, please get in touch via the Contact Form.
1990s Cards and Stickers
30--year-old Mick Gooding had already enjoyed a long Football League career when Reading signed him for £65,000 from Wolves in December 1989. After making his debut against Brentford on Boxing Day that year, the attacking midfielder flourished at Elm Park, his popularity with the fans evident in the fact that he won the club's Player of the Season award on three occasions. After boss Mark McGhee left Reading in 1994, Mick became joint player-manager alongside Jimmy Quinn, with the pair guiding the team to the Division One play-off final in May 1995. He made a total of 371 league and cup appearances for the Royals before retiring in 1997, and later became an engaging co-commentator on BBC Radio Berkshire's Reading FC coverage.
1975-76 Press Photo
Bruce Stuckey played nearly 100 games for Reading, helping us to promotion in 1976. Just after Christmas 1975, with his team trailing 2-1 at Brentford, Stuckey earned a point after scoring a last minute equaliser direct from a corner, which he admitted was a complete fluke. When Bruce's professional career finished, his line of work took an unusual turn – after returning to his native Devon he teamed up with his ex-Torquay United team-mate Dick Edwards to launch a Country and Western act! Bruce played locally for many years, but in April 1986 he was badly injured whilst returning home from a gig in Sidmouth. Then aged 39, his car was involved in a head-on smash with a Mini on a country lane, leaving him with concussion and head wounds requiring 28 stiches. He seems to have recovered well though as he was back playing the pub circuit by May that year.
1983-84 Press Photo
Lawrie Sanchez broke into Reading's first team in October 1977 just before he turned 18, whilst studying for his A Levels at the town's Presentation College. He played more than 250 games for the Royals before joining Wimbledon, ironically the team he made his Reading debut against, in December 1984. He went on to score the winning goal against Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final, and in 2022 Lawrie was inducted into STAR's Reading FC Hall of Fame.
1996 Press Photos
This week I was given another large batch of Reading FC press photos. Included are these from the 1995-96 season, which have been very nicely mounted and captioned. The Royals had secured safety in Division One by winning their final home game and ended the campaign with a 2-1 victory at Birmingham.