STAR News

STAR Predictor Competition Update 1st January

Did you enter this season's Predictor competition for a chance to win the top prize of £300?

The STAR Predictor table as at 1st January shows a new leader in Pryish Mistry as long-time front-runner Abbigale Maye fades back to 4th place. Paula Martin now challenging in second place.

There's still a way to go yet! You can check where you are by downloading the positions here.

“Lest we Forget” - Annual Remembrance Service 19th November

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Saturday 19th November saw us join the Football Club, the Former Players’ Association and the Vice-Presidents’ Association in the Annual Service of Remembrance before the game with Burton Albion at 1.45pm at the Memorial Wall next to the Players’ entrance.

It is particularly poignant this year as it falls at the end of the centenary commemorations for the Battle of the Somme; a battle so terrible that it is far beyond our comprehension. It tragically resulted in over one million casualties, including a significant number of Reading men, with several battalions of the Royal Berkshire Regiment serving during the battle. Reading men like Arthur Tegg, a bricklayer, who lived on the Basingstoke Road with his wife and young children and who enlisted in 237th (Reading) Field Company of the Royal Engineers. Arthur died on 30th September 1916, as the result of wounds he received during the in the battle while trying to aid an injured comrade and is buried in Reading Cemetery.

Arthur may well have been a Reading FC supporter; coming to pre-war Elm Park on a Saturday afternoon to cheer on the Biscuitmen. A team that contained real stars like Ted Hanney, an England international defender who had played for Great Britain in the 1912 Olympics who, although wounded during the battle, survived; and Allen Foster, a great inside forward who had famously scored the winner for the Biscuitmen against First Division Aston Villa in the FA Cup in 1912. Sadly, Allen did not survive the Battle of the Somme; dying of the wounds he sustained in an attack against enemy positions.

STAR’s wreath was laid by our Chairman, Paul Ellix. A tribute on behalf of the families of former Reading players who fell while serving was laid by Carol Buckell, whose great-grandfather; Heber Slatter was killed in 1918. A tribute on behalf of the club’s young supporters was laid by Will Joyner.

You can read more about Reading playes who lost their lives during the First World War within our Heritage pages.

The STAR AGM 2016

The STAR annual general meeting was held on 1st September 2016 with about 200 members present. Chairman Paul Ellix gave the annual report, the highlights of which were:

- Launch of STAR’s Reading FC Hall of Fame in March
- STAR procures Asset of Community Value for Madejski Stadium
- STAR consultation with and representation of supporter concerns over Royal Elm Park plans
- Development of a formal ‘structured relationship’ with RFC in line with the Government’s Expert Working Group on  supporter representation
- STAR’s participation in the national ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ campaign to cap away ticket prices
- Protocol for supporter representation agreed with club
- Organising the popular card vote for Player of the Season
- Membership down 15% to 1418 (due to football-related reasons!)
- 3000 passengers taken in 65 coaches to 26 stadia by STAR travel
- STAR sponsorship of Reading FC Deaf team
- Planning for Remembrance trip to northern France in June 2017 (places still available).

Four board members were re-elected: Vicci Elliott, Mel Bishop, Paula Martin and Roger Titford. There are currently four vacant positions on the Board and co-opted board members are sought, please get in touch with chair@star-reading.org

The AGM agreed to increase the ‘ring-fenced’ sum of money brought over from Reading Football Supporters’ Club in 2002 to £17,500 to take account of inflation and to agree the three general purposes for which it might be used in future. There are no current plans to spend this sum.

From time to time STAR makes an award for ‘Services to Reading Supporters’ in memory of Sybil Ford. This year the award was given to the football commentators of Hospital Radio Reading – Ian Bruce, Graeme Collyer and David Downs – for all the good work they have done over the past 59 years since the service was started by the late Les Warne.

You can download a more detailed copy of the STAR Report from the AGM here.

Keeping Updated With Our Email Bulletins

As part of our continued efforts to improve email communication to members we operate a strict member e-mailing list incorporating the latest best practice. When completing your membership application we use the email address from your application to contact you with our Bulletins and Reading Matter newsletters.

As with other organisations, we have found in the past that some email accounts on our mailing list become outdated, become full or otherwise unavailable, especially web based accounts such as Gmail and Hotmail and repeated attempts to send to those addresses can unfortunately be interpreted by internet providers as spam.  To help improve deliverability and avoid problems associated with spam filtering, emails returned to us as undelivered or unavailable are removed from our main mailing list. We will make a further attempt to contact those account holders to re-subscribe but if unsuccessful those email addresses will remain off future circulations.

You can also help by marking our address of e-star@star-reading.org as a 'friendly' email in your spam filters or if you are changing your email address you can update this using the 'Update Preferences' link in the footer of our Bulletins. If you prefer not to receive these emails you can of course use the 'unsubscribe' link, also in the footer.

We hope this will lead to an improvement for the vast majority of our members. Should you find you have not been receiving emails from us, and have checked your spam filter, please contact websupport@star-reading.org with your details.

Ticket Pricing

STAR is very pleased to see Reading FC take the lead on ticket pricing in the Championship in 2016-17 with its £20 structure for fans in the Eamonn Dolan Stand and away fans. The initiative was commended at the national Football Supporters' Federation summit at the weekend, alongside the £30 cap on away ticket prices in the Premier League and Arsenal and Swansea subsidising their away fans ticket costs.

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In October 2015 STAR organised a march around the Madejski Stadium behind the ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ banner and gathered a 300 signature strong petition backing the campaign. The subject of ticket pricing and reciprocal away ticket pricing has been raised by STAR in meetings with the Club senior management throughout last season (30th September, 9th November, 17th February, 11th April and 23rd May) and noted on this website. STAR’s sustained efforts will have had some influence on the decision.

STAR sincerely hopes that Reading’s £20 deal works both in terms of increasing numbers at home games and “inspiring” other Championship clubs to follow suit.

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.

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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’

HoF-logo.pngIn 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.


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