- Position: Striker
- Nationality: English
- Total Reading FC appearances: 158
- Total Reading FC goals: 62
Kitson may have worn number 17 when he spent time on loan at Reading in 2009, but it was 12 that adorned the back of his shirt in his first, more successful, stint in RG2. The striker netted 18 league goals in the club’s record-breaking 2005-06 season, but his most memorable moment came during the previous campaign.
It came in a clash between the Royals and West Ham United in mid-March 2005, which always had the potential to be a tasty encounter before a ball had even been kicked. Not only were the two teams level on points in the fight for the Championship play-offs, but the Hammers were managed by Alan Pardew, who had sensationally left his role as Reading manager in 2003 to take the supposedly bigger job in East London. Kitson ensured it was not a happy Madejski Stadium return for the recently appointed West Brom boss.
In a 3-1 win for the Biscuitmen, the ginger-haired frontman bagged a brace of headers in the first half, before completing a hat-trick by smashing past Stephen Bywater after the break. It was his second treble of the season and took his goal tally to 16, but more importantly it took Reading three points ahead of their opponents and ended a winless run of 11 games. Unsurprisingly, the Madejski Stadium crowd took great pleasure in chanting "Judas, Judas, what's the score?" and "You're gonna get the sack" at a dejected Pardew.
It came little under a year after Kitson had scored twice against the Hammers in a 2-0 win to again defeat Pardew, so there must have been something about beating him that Dave took great pleasure in. In a recent Instagram throwback to that game, the now 37-year-old used the caption “F*** you Alan.”