100th Anniversary Commemorations
Before the Preston match on Saturday 30th April STAR held a short ceremony to remember the deaths 100 years ago of three former players. Ben Butler, Alfred Hall and Charles West all died whilst serving with the forces during World War I. The ceremony took place outside the Players’ Entrance and was led by STAR Chairman Paul Ellix who gave a short speech of commemoration.
Reading Deaf Football Club League Winners
Congratulations to Reading Deaf FC who have become Southern Champions of the English Deaf League, an amazing feat given this is their first season in the league!
Having been formed in 2013 with support and sponsorship from within the community, the team have represented RFC Community Trust including a number of players who have gone on to represent England and Great Britain. STAR are pleased to have been able to provide kit sponsorship for the team this season.
STAR Statement on Hillsborough Inquest
The Hillsborough Inquest verdict exonerating the fans on the day comes as little surprise to those who attended matches in that era. The families are to be commended for their persistence in the face of the cover-ups by the authorities. Sad to say such attitudes towards football supporters and their side of the story have not entirely disappeared today.
You can read more comment on the FSF (Football Supporters' Federation) website.
RFC Managers Meeting With STAR - April
The latest of our regular meetings with RFC senior managers took place at the Mad Stad on 11th April and included supporter issues such as 2016/17 car parking, ticket prices and kit, policing at the Crystal Palace game and pre-season tour amongst others.
If you have matters for consideration of raising at the next meeting please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAR Secures ACV Listing For The Madejski Stadium
On 13th April STAR were informed that Reading Borough Council had granted our nomination to have the Madejski Stadium listed as an Asset of Community Value. This means that should the owners ever wish to sell it STAR has the right to be informed about this and to make or be part of a bid to purchase it. STAR believes there is no present danger whatsoever of such a sale happening.
Supporters Trusts and other bodies at other clubs have been granted ACVs, notably at Old Trafford, Anfield and St James’ Park (Newcastle). In Reading some of our finer pubs and King’s Meadow Pool are also listed as ACVs.
STAR’s ‘Reading FC Hall of Fame’
In front of a packed house of STAR members, vice-presidents and guests the first eleven names were inducted into STAR’s Reading FC Hall of Fame at its launch on Thursday 24 March at the Madejski Stadium.
Among those receiving their awards in person were former skipper Graeme Murty and former chairman Roger Smee who each said a few words to the audience. Also present was 87 year old Johnny Walker, a Reading captain of the 1960s and relatives of two other inductees, Gordon Neate and Allen Foster.
“The Hall of Fame is a major project for STAR,” said Deputy Chairman, Roger Titford, “and over the next few years we expect to get up to 150 people inducted from across the whole history of the club. At first the Hall of Fame will reside on-line at STAR’s website but we hope it will get a more ‘physical’ presence as the years go by.”
Among this year’s inductees are an England international (Edward Haygarth of the 1870s), a Scotland international (Murty) and a Wales international (Ady Williams). Also featured are a war hero (Allen Foster, 1910s), a celebrity supporter (John Arlott the cricket commentator), two players who became directors (Smee and Joey Warburton) and a centre forward who the Supporters’ Club helped to buy (Tommy Tait, 1930s). To see the full list of inductees and citations please visit our Hall of Fame page.
Jack Mansell RIP
Reading manager April 1969-October 1971. You cannot judge a man by results alone. Jack created one of the best footballing teams Reading has ever seen, albeit all too briefly. In doing so he also created a swathe of supporters who continue to follow the club to this day and who sang, back in his day, “na-na na na, hey, hey, hey, Reading football.” Thanks for the memories, Jack.
Reading FC Accounts 2014-15
Once again we thank STAR member Dave Hunt for his expertise in simplifying, for the benefit of fans, the information in the latest set of Reading FC accounts. His report can be downloaded and read here (pdf). STAR will be addressing the company structures in a soon-to-be forthcoming issue of Reading Matter.
Gary Deards’ Readibus
Players and management at Reading FC were at the launch of a new ReadiBus that will be enabling disabled fans to continue to attend home and away games. Disabled supporters have been able to travel to matches direct from their front door on ReadiBus for many years - the new bus replaces the existing one. The service to away games is provided courtesy of STAR and is for supporters with restricted mobility who cannot get to games by car or by other public transport.
The new bus is dedicated to the memory of Gary Deards, a former user of the service, board member of STAR and Vice-Chair of Level Playing Field, the national charity that campaigns for better access for disabled people in football. Gary Deards passed away in March 2014.
The bus has been given the fleet number 106 – a number known to Reading fans for the record points total in the 2005-6 championship winning season and is able to take up to five seated passengers plus three travelling in a wheelchair and will be driven to matches by volunteers who have been trained by ReadiBus staff.
Ian Maynard, Board Member of STAR commented, “It is a honour for STAR to be involved with this. Gary was well liked and he worked very hard and effectively on behalf of disabled football fans.” We look forward to the new bus being well used in this season and in the future.
Peter Absolon, General Manager of ReadiBus, added, “it is a great testament to Steve Clarke and the players that they took the time to come and join in and to meet some of the bus-users and Gary’s father.”
If you are a fan who would like to become involved as a volunteer to drive the minibus to home or away games or if you have restricted mobility and would like to use the bus to travel to home or away games, contact ReadiBus at www.readibus.org.uk. (Note that you need to join or be a member of STAR in order to book for travel to away games).
Twenty's Plenty "Weekend Of Action" - 3rd October
STAR was happy to add its support to this national campaign on 3rd October with banners at the Middlesbrough match. Thank you to those members and non-members who joined us and the Boro fans before the game to show support goes across all clubs with the short march from the STAR Base and signed the petition we’re collecting.
During the weekend fans across the country were demonstrating against the rising cost of following their teams away from home, demanding their clubs adopt Twenty's Plenty. Banners calling for the £20 cap on away tickets were to be at every Premier League ground this weekend, as well many in the Football League.
The protests will shine the media spotlight on the issue of high ticket prices and hopefully encourage clubs to limit the price of away fan tickets to £20. It is worth noting Reading took over 2000 fans to Portsmouth on 25th August when tickets were £10.
You can find out more about the campaign and how you can show support by visiting the Football Supporters Federation website.
Click on the title to read more about these other football news items:
Just how restrictive is the law around football fans' travel? Even the most jaded football fan may be suprised, FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks tells us more about football fans, coach travel and the law.
The BBC's Price of Football survey shows the figures paint a mixed picture. Prices for 70% of tickets examined, across 13 leagues, were reduced or frozen compared with last year. FSF chief exec Kevin Miles said: "The encouraging thing for us is that dedicated campaigning by supporters over the last two years is beginning to have an effect."
Article on Thai investors seemingly following one after another to buy overseas football clubs - including Reading FC.
Conservative MP Damian Collins' Football Governance Bill would let the Football Association block potential club owners it considered unsuitable.
The average price of the cheapest tickets across English football has risen at almost twice the rate of the cost of living since 2011. BBC Sport's Price of Football study analysed how much fans are charged at 207 clubs.