Madejski Stadium, Behind East Stand

My Piece of Reading FC Memorabilia – Wembley Play-Off Final

It is strange how some things you just cannot throw out, when downsizing for a house move. Collections of programmes, signed photographs, posters and old tickets all went to new homes. But a humble plastic bag just had to stay. It sat on the top of the pile looking lost, vulnerable and lonely. It had to stay.

Today, over a shop counter, it would cost 10p. Then it was free. Where did it this bag come from? The answer is Wembley Stadium. What did it contain? Nothing but the air inside. What was its use? At first glance not obvious, but with a bit of investigation all became clear.

Saturday, Monday 29th May 2017 was a special day. We were on our way to Wembley. The final of the Championship play-offs. Reading were playing Huddersfield for the honour of moving up to the Premier League. Coach 3, my coach, arrived at Wembley and discharged its 51 hopeful passengers. Slowly they entered the hallowed building to view, in amazement, its heart, the pitch.

On every seat in the Reading end sat a plastic bag. The instructions printed on it were to hold it up above our heads when the lads walked out. It also said we had to make a lot of noise while holding it up. This I did. Not a little noise, a lot of noise. Quite unlike me?

So, what does this humble bag mean to me? In its simplicity the bag itself reminds me of yet another great season. ‘Happy days’. A great day out ending in some disappointment. Yes, we all remember the end result. Most important, as a Reading fan, it gave me hope for the future.

There will always be another day to conquer the Championship and Wembley. Not easy I know, but achievable. That plastic bag is a reminder of a time to come.

This piece of memorabilia is from  Wendie Wilson