Reading FC History
Picture postcards featuring Reading Football Club from the early part of the 20th century were issued by a few local photographers. William Henry Dee and Everard Cuzner published cards in the Edwardian era, with Dee in particular designing some beautiful examples. Phillip Collier produced them from the following decade, and he was joined by Eric Guy in the 1920s. I collect all kinds of memorabilia but vintage cards are the things I look out for most, so If you have any for disposal I'd love to hear from you via the Contact Form.
One of Reading's most gut-wrenching defeats happened 28 years ago today when they blew a 2-0 lead in the Division One play-off final at Wembley. The defining moment in the eventual 4-3 defeat against Bolton occurred when Royals striker Stuart Lovell had a penalty saved, which would have given his team a surely unassailable 3-0 lead at half-time.
Reading have been drawn to play Manchester United eleven times over the years in the FA Cup, but have only gone through on one occasion. That solitary win came in January 1927 after a second replay at Villa Park. The tie looked to heading into extra-time when centre-forward Bill Johnstone scored a last minute winner after a 'delightful bout of passing', much to the joy of the 3,000 travelling fans. This was thoroughly deserved as Reading dominated the game throughout, keeping their opponents under constant pressure. The reporter for the following day's 'Daily Mirror' reckoned that had they won by four goals it wouldn't have over-emphasised their superiority. Interesting to read that the teams changed around at half-time without leaving the field, no doubt because the light was fading.
I've seen many reports of Reading games from that period, and almost without fail Alf Messer is singled out for particular praise. Our correspondent notes: 'One man stood head and shoulders above the others. I refer to Messer, the Reading centre-half. He gave the best display I have seen from any centre-half this season. His tackling was certain and effective. His kicking to his forwards was always along the turf and accurate. He has the physical advantages too, and it will take a big centre-forward who gets the better of him when the ball is in the air.' In my opinion, Messer would have to be in the conversation for Reading's best ever player.