Appearances for Reading: 10 (4 years)
Appearances for Wolves: 110 (3 years)
James Henry was an academy graduate for Reading in the late 2000s, but he unfortunately came through at the wrong time, as The Royals were, at the time, cycling through a succession of quality wingers which didn’t give him the chance to really make his break into the first team. He was loaned out five times during his years at Reading (twice to Millwall) and he would show himself to be a studious winger who could score as well as create. Overlooked by Steve Coppell and then Brian McDermott, he was finally let go in 2010, where Millwall took him on permanently after impressing for The Lions on loan.
Henry’s time at Molineux began on loan at the tail end of the 2012/2013 campaign, where his former Millwall manager Kenny Jackett brought him on board full time the following summer. His loan brought seven goals from eleven games as he helped the side achieve the English Football League One title, and also ended the campaign as second-highest scorer for the team. He continued to stamp his authority as a first team regular, winning the fans’ Goal of the Season in 2014/2015. The dismissal of Jackett in 2016 and the takeover of the club has since damaged his chances with the team, and he has been sent out on loan to Bolton Wanderers for the remainder of the current campaign with Hélder Costa taking on his role so well.
Adam Le Fondre
Appearances for Reading: 104 (3 years)
Appearances for Wolves: 26 (1 year)
Adam Le Fondre was one of McDermott’s ‘bargain buys’ during the summer of 2011, as the manager built up the team which would win the title of the English Football League Championship the following April. While he was initially tagged with the ‘super-sub’ moniker due to his late appearances and effectiveness, he played a large part in the push for top spot, with braces against Leeds United and Southampton late on in the season crucial for the side. His flaws were first seen in the Premier League, as his poaching ability left him unable to lead the line on his own, although he did win the Player of the Month in January 2013. He would remain vital to the club, with his sudden departure to Cardiff City in 2013 owes more to HMRC troubles in Berkshire rather than the player.
Le Fondre played a small part for Wolves on a season-long loan during the 2015/2016 campaign, featuring 26 times with three goals scored, but his performance wasn’t good enough to earn him a move away from Cardiff, where he has struggled for consistency since arriving and is now on his third loan move in as many seasons.
Appearances for Reading: 157 (4 years)
Appearances for Wolves: 164 (6 years)
Kevin Doyle was the original bargain-buy for The Royals (pre-dating fellow countryman Shane Long), coming in from Cork City for just £78,000, and sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers four years later for a reported £6.5m. He broke into the side, playing alongside Leroy Lita and Dave Kitson, as the club went on to win the Championship for the first time in their history with a record 106 points. He was awarded Player of the Season not just by Reading fans, but also across the whole league with eighteen goals across his debut campaign. He remained a consistent figure for the club in their two seasons in the Premier League, despite attracting interest from sides like Aston Villa, and even remained with Steve Coppell’s team after their relegation, playing one more season with the team but unable to bounce straight back up.
Doyle swapped the second tier for the Premier League by joining Wolves from Reading, and he once again proved successful in his debut season as the Wolves’ fans awarded him with a Player of the Season in 2010. And, like Reading, he remained faithful to the club as they suffered back-to-back relegations from the top tier down to League One, but his high wages proved an issue for the side in the third tier. After successive loans away from the club, he finally left Wolves in 2015 after his contract expired.
Appearances for Reading: 155 (4 years)
Appearances for Wolves: 56 (3 years)
Stephen Hunt began his Reading career battling with Bobby Convey for a starting place on the left side of midfield. He would come to the attention of world football during the first season of Premier League football for The Royals as his collision with then-Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech left the shot-stopper with a depressed fracture of the skull, and having to wear his notorious head brace ever since. Like a few Reading players in their first two seasons in the top tier, Hunt attracted suitors from other clubs, but Steve Coppell chose to keep him in his side even after their relegation. Like Doyle, Hunt would try and get The Royals back up to the Premier League at the first time of asking, but after they failed in the playoff semi-final, he requested a move back to the Premier League, and was subsequently signed by Hull City.
Hunt joined Wolves ahead of the 2010/2011 campaign on a three-year deal. Despite struggling with injury for most of the campaign, he scored the last goal on the final day of the season which secured the club’s Premier League status. Over the next couple of years he would make sparse appearances as a further groin injury kept him out of action for a length of time, and he eventually left the club at the end of his contract.
Appearances for Reading: 276 (7 years)
Appearances for Wolves: 40 (2 years)
Before Alex McCarthy, before Adam Federici, there was Marcus Hahnemann. Signed by Alan Pardew in 2002 as the club re-entered the First Division (now the Championship), he became the first-choice ‘keeper in the side, an importance he would retain until his departure in 2009. Under Steve Coppell he would flourish for the Berkshire side, playing almost every game of the ‘106 season’, and keeping thirteen clean sheets in their first year in the Premier League, but was one of the many first team players who left the club following their playoff defeat in 2009 to Burnley.
Hahnemann initially joined Wolves as a backup to first-choice Wayne Hennessey, but poor form in the 2009/2010 campaign for him led to Hahnemann taking over the job, and helping the club achieve survival that year. Originally signing a one-year deal, Hahnemann signed for a further year, but this time it was poor form from the American which brought Hennessey back into the side as Wolves once again retained their Premier League place. He didn’t feature again after a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City in early January, and was released that summer.