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POLL: Who Is Reading FC's Worst Ever Player?

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It's a title nobody wants but someone has to win, as we're asked to pick one player for FourFourTwo.

Paul Brayson

You might remember last year the kind folks at FourFourTwo wanted a nomination for Reading's biggest cult hero. Thanks to your votes, we put forward Robin Friday who took his place among some of the game's greats. This time around we've been tasked with picking someone from the other end of the scale and to name Reading's worst ever player.

Much like the 'cult hero' tag, there are plenty of ways to interpret and rank our 'worst player' Do you simply go for footballing ability? If so, you're likely to pick a reserve from the fourth tier era. If it's performance against cost, step forward Emerse Fae or Greg Halford. If it's sustained awfulness over a few seasons, maybe a Paul Brayson gets the nod. Or maybe it's expectations against performance, so you'd pick a Royston Drenthe....

I actually took a look at a similar subject back in September, so check that out here for some more detailed bio's of some of the nominees below..

We asked for you nominations on Twitter, so between that and our esteemed TTE Editorial Staff, here's our top 12 contenders in no particular order.

Mass Sarr

The Liberian looked like George Weah after dazzling fans during the first ever league game at the Mad Stad versus Luton. A year later we were questioning if he was actually another Ali Dia.

Royston Drenthe

How could a man signed that Real Madrid paid over £10m for be so awful and inconsistent, that he flopped with Reading just six years later? At 26 Drenthe should have been hitting his peak and while the early signs were good with a couple of TTE Player of the Month victories but it was all downhill from there and he'd wind up training with the Academy side just 12 months after arriving on a bloated Anton Zingarevich contract.

Paul Bodin

Playing for Swindon is bad enough. A penalty miss that stopped Wales qualifying for a World Cup also rubs plenty up the wrong way, so throw in a woeful spell at Elm Park and few are going to remember the left-back fondly. We've been blessed with some cracking full-backs over the years but Paul wasn't one of them.

Sean Evers

The first example I can remember of a player being amazing on Championship Manager and then proving to be utterly dire in front of my eyes. Evers was hot property when he became another expensive £500k signing by Tommy Burns in 1999 but made just eight league starts in an injury hit spell at the Mad Stad.

Paul Brayson

One of the 'magnificent seven' deadline day signings by Burns in March 98 (most of whom would fit in nicely on this list), Brayson had broken all sorts of records in his time in Newcastle's youth system so surely he'd be at least OK at third tier level? No... 1 goal is all we got from Brayson in parts of three seasons. I can't describe how lost he looked out there, you had to see it to believe it.

Emerse Fae

A £2.5m club record signing from Nantes, Fae was supposed to fill the gap left by Steve Sidwell. Instead we got three Premier League starts and a bloke who decided to go on strike after refusing to turn out for the reserves. He'd be gone for Lens the following summer but at least Reading made their money back.

Mark Reilly

A tough tackling midfielder signed by Burns to give some steel alongside Phil Parkinson. Instead he'd end up back in Scotland within a few months citing 'home sickness'. Plenty of Reading fans would have gladly offered to drive him given a handful of woeful appearances with Reading struggling at the wrong end of the third tier.

Simon Sheppard

Shep is a lovely bloke, just listen to the interview we did with him on the Tilehurst End Podcast, yet alas he was utterly woeful in goal. Trying to replace Shaka Hislop was never going to be easy but Sheppard was horrendous to the point he'd never play league football after the age of 23.

Greg Halford

Halford was another Sean Evers. He was a player whose reputation had soared in the lower leagues with Colchester and it seemed a perfect signing for Steve Coppell in the summer of 2006 when he was building a hungry young squad for the Premier League. The problem was Halford was not just stuck behind club Captain Graeme Murty but that he was also fairly terrible. For £2m+ we expected much, much more but like Fae, at least we managed to shift him on without a financial hit.

Les Ferdinand

Sir Les is a legend of the game but at Reading he's not going to be remembered well. Was supposed to help stop our slide out of the play-offs but contributed just a single goal as we collapsed in 2005 under Steve Coppell.

Zat Knight

THIS MAN WON TWO ENGLAND CAPS?! The 'highlight' of his short Reading career was giving away this penalty at Blackpool, a team relegated with ease that season.

Eric Nixon

I almost went for Bobby Mikhailov here but Handbags helped sway me with the following description of Nixon's one-game Reading career...

'Nixon must get a mention. Late emergency loan from Tranmere, same day as a League Cup Quarter-Final at Leeds. Turned up at 5pm barely said a word to the players, helped throw the game away, then f**ked off.'

'Nuff said.


I know there are plenty more names that we could put on this shortlist, but remember we're looking for the very worst player, so just being pretty bad doesn't cut it. I'm also discounting players like Cedric Baseya who we never actually got to see play!

So cast your vote and we'll put forward the winner to FourFourTwo.