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Six Of The Best: My Favourite Reading FC Moments - Readingfanman

The Six of the Best series is back with @Readingfanman taking a look back at his best moments as a Royals fan.

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Following a similar sort of format to the other authors of 6OTB so far, I thought I'd preface it with a bit about my history of supporting Reading! I've been a fan since 2003, and had a season ticket on-and-off since 2004 (back again this season, for my sins). So I've seen the promotions and relegations of the last decade, hopefully I won't be repeating everyone else’s selections however!

Player

For me, the only players to even come close to this are from the 2005/06 side. How can they not? The team itself was almost as good as watching any one player within that side.

In the last few years, I was a massive Glen Little fan, however, over the past season or so, especially as he pushes himself more and more into the club’s media presence, I've grown to like him less, almost sullying my memory of him from those sides. So Little takes a good third spot in this, a brilliant player on his day, and still one of the most entertaining players to ever play for Reading.

In second spot for me, and possibly a less obvious choice is Ivar Ingimarsson. Is there a player who has played for Reading who has ever looked so calm and composed? He really did personify the metaphor of "The Iceman". A player who would always give you a 7/10 performance every week - no matter the opposition, or the importance of the game.

He gave me some great memories, from his 93rd minute equaliser against Ipswich from outside the area to knocking himself out in that 1-0 win at home to Manchester City in the first Premiership season. Ivar truly was a fantastic player,  and is someone I could never say no to coming back to Reading as a coach for youngsters at the club.

Taking the top spot is another member of the 05/06 squad, my favourite player from Reading in the past decade is Dave Kitson. He’s a moany, ungrateful, egotistical (previously at least!), truth telling striker. But the fact is, he was one of the most entertaining players I've ever seen at Reading.

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You could never tell what sort of touch he was going to pull off, and I always admired his footwork skill, despite often being referred to as "the big man". He always seemed to, if not enjoy the game, at least show the sort of determination that you wanted players to show, it did disappear slightly during his loan spell back at the club, however I try to forget that as much as I can! Kitson is a straight talking, no nonsense sort of guy, and he is my number one player in my Reading watching days so far.

Manager

Well, this obviously, as with nearly everyone else, comes down to two. Brian McDermott, or Steve Coppell. Personally, I enjoyed the season when we won the title under McDermott so much, I think I enjoyed it almost more than when we won it under Coppell. Winning the huge games against Southampton and West Ham, and the insane defensive record, where we had multiple clean sheets after the New Year.

However, the season in the top flight under Coppell swings it in his favour. There isn’t going to be many seasons that we see Reading finish inside the top ten of English football. That season was one of the best to watch as a Reading fan I think many of us will ever see, along with the 2005-2006 season. So my vote for manager has to go to Steve Coppell.

Goal

This is a tough one. There’s been so many good goals, important goals, goals which have seen insane celebrations, over the past ten years, that this makes it a tough decision. However, I think I've rounded it down to a top three for me.

In third is the Adam Le Fondre goal in the final few minutes against Southampton during the promotion season, the goal itself, a misplaced header from Jose Fonte back towards the keeper, actually wasn't that good. But the celebrations which came with it, along with the knowledge that the goal had put us in pole position, on TV, in front of the Sky cameras, meant it was a huge goal, and remains one of my favourites I've seen.

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The season under McDermott when we went to the Playoff final - the game at Cardiff City Stadium will live long in the memory, and the first goal that Shane Long scored lobbing it over Stephen Bywater sparked some of the wildest celebrations I've had as a Reading fan, and led to one of my favourite ever evenings watching Reading. It’s not often Reading dominate a game from start to finish, and walk away from a one off match with a positive result when needed. This was one of those times, and I can still remember how long that ball took to drop down from the lob before dropping into the net. A terrible goal? Perhaps, but one of the best ones to celebrate I've seen ever.

My favourite goal following Reading is an easy one for myself. The scene, Home Park, Plymouth, November 2005. Glen Little picks the ball up, just inside the Plymouth Argyle half, the ball sticking to his right foot as he scampers across the field from the left edge of the centre circle, heading towards the right wing, leaving two, three Plymouth defenders in his wake. Spotting the keeper off his line, he dinks the ball over the keeper from the edge of the area on the right hand side, leaving him with no chance. A magical goal, one which was surely only made possible with the use of Superglue on Little’s boot I'm sure.

Match

This one again is such a tough choice. I've seen some fantastic matches involving Reading over the years, Reading beating Palace 3-2 in the Championship winning season, the 1-1 draw at Leicester, the 6-0 win at home to West Ham on New Years day. However, for me it comes down to a choice of two games for ultimate enjoyment. Southampton 1-3 Reading and West Ham 2-4 Reading. Both of these games were utterly amazing days out, and for once not ruined by the football!

The number one game is that game at West Ham, the two minutes before half time were probably the best ever following Reading, and the half time that followed in the concourse were utterly fantastic. Some of the best moments in an away end with Reading.

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Kit

I loved the Auto Trader kit from the 90's with the red and yellow hoops. If we could bring back an away kit similar to that, I would be a very happy fellow. The home kits for me generally merge into one, however the Kyocera kit we had the season we got promoted to the top flight was very smart. I love a kit with a collar! Keep it simple, stupid!

Away Ground

I love a good away ground, give me an old school ground with a low roof , good acoustics and a willingness to let the fans stand and sing is perfect. This leaves quite a small number of grounds really where all of these things join up together. For me, it comes down to mainly the London away days, Selhurst Park is a very popular one I think with people who enjoy standing, Upton Park will also be missed when West Ham leave.

Selhurst Park is certainly my favourite, it was my first away game back in 2003, and we drew 2-2 with Lloyd Owusu getting both goals. I've never seen a Reading win there, with a 1-1 draw the season we got promoted on a Friday night, and a dire 0-0 the season Reading finished fourth. However, the atmosphere there is always cracking, and there's enough potential for the day out to be great in London that even if the games poor, it doesn't distract from the fact that you can be back in a pub in central London in less than half hour from there!

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If you would like to share your favourite moments then please get in touch. All fans are welcome to take part.