If you are passionate about football and passionate about Reading FC then join us at STAR.
STAR (Supporters Trust At Reading) is a non-profit Supporters’ Trust set up in March 2002 by Reading FC supporters for Reading FC supporters.
Football postcards depicting RFC players and team from the late 1890s through to the late 1920s. Read more below...
STAR's Journey to the Somme following the final resting places of RFC Players in The Footballers Battalion. Read more...
Hall of Fame
Honouring outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to the history of our club. Read more...
Historical Team Images - The Parsons Collection
One night in 1999 a ‘mature’ gentleman by the name of Parsons came to The Football Shop (the old RFSC HQ in the East Stand) and said ‘you might be interested in these.’ It was three albums of football postcards dating from the late 1890s through to the late 1920s, a mix of team groups and players and I‘d never seen anything quite like it before.
He said it had been his father’s and, as he’d no further use for them, he was giving it to me in the hope we could use it for the benefit of the supporters of Reading FC. There were about 80 cards altogether which I took along to the next meeting of the RFC Collectors and Historians Society. They considered that it was the best collection of such material to come to light for many years and it included some items no-one had seen before.
We decided to keep the Reading part of the collection as an asset of the Supporters’ Club (and later STAR). About a third of the material related to other clubs (Southampton, Villa, West Brom principally) and this we sold for a few hundred pounds. STAR can offer for sale copies of the Reading photos you can see on this site.
You can view the photos from the Parsons Collection by clicking the button below.
One of the many roles of STAR is to enrich and protect the heritage of Reading FC, particularly in the absence of any formal museum run by the football club. Of course we welcome more donations of significant material from Reading fans with the promise we’ll look after it and make it as widely accessible as possible.
STAR, RFC and Reading Museum Loan Box Project
We currently work with the Reading Museums Service having produced a 'hands-on loan box' of Royals’ artefacts which is available to schools and old people’s homes across the county. It includes such articles as a rattle (seen right), old programmes, a scarf, rosette and early supporters' badge among other items. Details of the Reading football loan box can be downloaded here. We have renewed the agreement with Reading Museum to continue tp make the loan box available to 2015 which is one of 1500 boxes in their loan service.
The boxes are borrowed by schools for half a term, this gives the pupils a chance to properly explore the objects and use them in different classes, not just history! Further information about the service is available on the Reading Museum website.
Roger Titford, Chairman RFSC (1998-2001)
Will of Footballers Battalion & Former RFC Player Ben Butler Uncovered
In June 2011 military historian Jon Cooksey and BBC radio presenter Graham McKechnie guided a group of STAR members in a visit to the last resting places of a number of former RFC players who joined 'the footballers battalion' and lost their lives during the First World War. One such former player was Cpl Albert Victor (Ben) Butler.
The last wishes, thoughts and concerns of more than 230,000 soldiers who died on the front line during World War I are to be made available online as part of a larger project to make all war wills publicly available, dating from the Boer War to the Falklands. Final handwritten wills were kept by troops in their pocket service books and tucked into their uniforms and give a fascinating insight into the thoughts of those brave men.
You can find out more about the project and some of those wills, including that of Ben Butler, by reading Jon's articles written for the launch of the project:
You can view more on the STAR trip, including photographs and video here.
Commemoration of War-Time Deaths of Former Reading Players
On April 25th wreaths were laid at the Memorial Wall to commemorate the war-time deaths 100 years ago of former Reading players Jack Huggins and Joe Dickenson. STAR Chairman Paul Ellix paid tribute to both men in a short speech. Joe Dickenson’s grand-daughter Cherry Clifford and great grand-daughter Kirsten Gregory attended and, together with Melanie Bishop of STAR, laid wreaths.
This was the first commemoration and others are planned throughout the year on the 100th anniversary of a players death.
You can read more about Joe Dickenson - the Footballing Grenadier by downloading a commemorative profile produced by STAR Chairman Paul Ellix.
Football Battalion Memorial Wall
Following the trip to the Somme at the end of the 2011-12 season STAR felt we needed a more permanent memorial to Reading players who gave their lives for their country. As a result there is now a brick and marble panel in the wall at the corner of the South Stand of the Madejski Stadium. These bricks display the names of the 9 Reading players killed in World War I and the 3 Reading players killed in World War II. Take a look next time you visit the ground.
Pictured are Carol Buckell, Darel Melhuish and Gail Lowes with the bricks that bear the names of their relations before being placed in the wall.
STAR are grateful to those who donated their time and donations to support the Memorial Wall.
The Legend of Robin Friday - ebook available
The Legend of Robin Friday is a 50 page e-book/digital photo essay written by former Supporter's Club Chairman Roger Titford about one of Reading's greatest heroes to mark the 20th anniversary of his untimely death. It combines a retropective on how Robin became a legendary figure nationally and the best collection of images of him in action that brings his magic to life.
It's available for £3 in digital format only and published in association with When Saturday Comes.
You can view sample content and purchase a copy by following this link.
Men, Women and Football...
One traditional male fan (Roger Titford) and one relatively new female supporter (Claire Saul) compare views on the differences of what men and women get out of football.
This is the fuller version of the article that appeared in the Spring 2016 edition of Reading Matter on how men and women do, or don’t, view football differently. Read more...
Meet The royals Family
Characters aimed to represent the different types of fan in the years just before we became STAR. Read more...
You can see a further collection of RFC Cards put together by Chris Lea, with information about the RFC Society of Collectors and Historians by visiting his website.
RFC Former Players Association.
The Association represent former managers and players, currently standing at 200 members, spanning decades from the 1940’s to today. You can visit their website to keep up to date with their news and events.
Historical RFC Kits
You can view all the Reading FC kits from 1872 to the present design on the Historical Kits website.
Do you know of other websites on the subject of the History of RFC? Please contact us to let us know.
1983 - One man and a mad dream
The strange story of Robert Maxwell and the Thames Valley Royals. In 1983 Reading FC nearly ceased to exist. A plan to merge Oxford United and Reading to form a new team called Thames Valley Royals nearly succeeded. Read an account of this troublesome time for Reading Supporters that first appeared on 1st April 1993 in Rage Online - an independent voice of Oxford United Supporters. Read the story here.