‘HE USED TO PLAY FOR US’
You are scanning through the football results in the Sunday paper and you come across a name and you say to yourself, “he used to play for us”, or you might say it to someone in the room reading the paper’s magazine, who nods but makes no comment.
Well, there were 44 ex-Reading players who played at least one game in the Premier League or the English Football League last season. Note that not all of these had played for Reading in the League. The appearances are for league games only and include substitute appearances. The statistics will appear as say (28 2), where the 28 is the number of appearances and the 2 is the number of goals scored. The statistics are taken from the “Football Yearbook”, which I still refer to it as the “Rothmans” when it was first produced 51 years ago. Let me start with the Premier League where there were six. Pause there while you try to name them.
OK, they were as follows: –
Oliver Norwood, Sheffield United (38 1)
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton (35 2)
Alex McCarthy, Southampton (28 0)
Shane Long, Southampton (26 2)
Michael Antonio, West Ham United (24 10)
Jack Stacey, Bournemouth (19 0)
By the way, Gylfi had made a total of 300 appearances during his career in the Premier League.
Moving down the leagues, Jake Cooper (46 3) started every league game for Millwall, for whom there were two other ex-Reading players, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (31 4) and Alex Pierce (29 0).
Exeter City also had three ex-players, Pierce Sweeney (26 2), Jake Taylor (33 2), and Lewis Ward (20 0), as did Burton Albion with Ryan Edwards (33 5), Ansi Jaakkola (21 0), and Stephen Quinn (29 0).
The club with the most ex-players were Oxford United who had Rob Dickie (34 0), now with QPR, Jamie Mackie (32 2), James Henry (30 12), Tarique Fosu (25 8), and Liam Kelly (3 0). Tarique (10 1) also played later for Brentford.
Shrewsbury Town had two ex-players, Dave Edwards (29 1) and Scott Golbourne (15 1), as did Forest Green Rovers with the Mills brothers, Joe (24 7) and Matt (19 0), Walsall with Zak Jules (17 0) and Jack Nolan (4 0), neither of whom played in the league for Reading and Bristol Rovers with Ansi Jaakkola (21 0) and Josh Barrett (7 0).
There were a large number of appearances for Sean Morrision (36 4) at Cardiff City, Sean Long (34 1) at Cheltenham Town, Dominic Hyam at Coventry City (29 2) and Ben Hamer at Derby County (25 0), although only Morrison of these made a League appearance for Reading. Hal Robson-Kanu (39 10) helped WBA to promotion, although 15 of these appearances were as a substitute. Callum Harriott (22 3) for Colchester United, Adrian Mariappa (20 0) for Watford and now at Bristol City and Michael Hector (20 0) made it to 20 games. This was not the case for Hope Akpan (19 3) at Bradford City, Simon Cox (19 2) at Southend United, Dominic Samuel (15 2) at Blackburn Rovers, Adam Federici (7 0) at Stoke City, Angus McDonald (5 0) at Hull City, and Jobi McAnuff (1 0) at Leyton Orient.
That leaves three players who were on Reading’s books, Noor Husin (10 0), Joel Rollinson (1 0) and Terry Vancooten (16 1), who all played for Stevenage, but I for one would have not been able to say of them “he used to play for us”.
Today we Hear from Kevin Lenton – STAR Board Member