Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Rags To Riches

Great article about Readings rise to the Premiership (see link)

Although not a Reading fan I have been watching them for the last 11 years with my son and for about the last 9 years we have had season tickets. Despite being a Leeds fan I had a lot of affection for Elm Park. We used to sit in the old North Stand for most games as the smell of deep heat wafted up from the changing rooms underneath. We had the occasional foray into the South Bank for a cup game or two and the atmosphere was brilliant. They don't make grounds like that anymore and hence the inevitable move to The Madejski Stadium - Its called progress.

Over the years I have watched some truly awful football - a 6-0 defeat at home to Bristol Rovers, an away defeat to Wrexham 3-0 on the opening day of the 98/99 season and a 5-3 defeat away to Wycombe in the following season all spring to mind. Tommy Burns famously signed 7 players on transfer deadline day and most of them were overpaid and underskilled. Some players have left a lot to be desired. Brayson who could not hit a barn door at point blank range. Mass Sarr promised so much and faded away. Martin Williams who could have his moments but who was one of the laziest players I have ever seen so much so that at one game a wit called out "Come on Martin run round a bit - try and keep warm".

By comparison this season has been a revelation and a joy as Reading have rampaged through the divison seemingly crushing teams at will and for fun as wave after wave of Reading attacks batters opposition defences. And all credit to John Madejski who has stood by Reading through thick and thin and put his money where his mouth is.

Interestingly the article does not mention that next season the Premierships newest club will also be its oldest club.. oh and the fact that about 4.50pm on Saturday Steve Coppell was finally seen smiling!

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