I wanted to start this off with a recount of just about every conversation I have with football supporters here in the United States.
Them: “Which club do you support?”
Me: “In England?”
Them: “Of course! Where else would you find a club worth supporting?
Me: “Reading FC!”
Them: “Reading FC? They don’t play in the Premier League. Why in the hell do you support them?
Me: “Well I hope you have a few minutes…”
My name is Erin Moyer and I live just outside of Baltimore, Maryland in the United States and I have been following Reading FC for ten years. I love everything about Reading but what I have loved more than anything is their willingness to give shots to American footballers over the years.
Everyone from Marcus Hahnemann and Bobby Convey to Danny Williams and Andrija Novakovich. Hahnemann, Convey and Williams were all welcomed with open arms and had huge impacts on the club in their time at Reading. I am hoping that Novakovich will follow in the same respect. Earning a call-up to the national team, followed by a loan to the top division in the Netherlands should help, but we will just have to see what the future holds for him.
As for me, the future is full of hope for us to one day get back to the Premier League. That’s mostly so I don’t have to explain how the English football system works to supporters of clubs who will never have to worry about relegation battles or seeing your dreams crushed by penalty shoot-out play-off loss at Wembley.
Being a Reading supporter takes dedication. Every club has ups and downs but, with the Royals, the ups are very high but the downs can make you feel like you will never stop falling. The players I have seen play at the Madejski Stadium have played with heart, desire and a drive to get the job done and pick up the points when they have no business doing so.
Players like Noel Hunt, Adam Le Fondre and most recently Yann Kermorgant inspire you to get behind them. I know there are many more players who have worn the blue and white hoops that have done the same over the years and I just hope we will continue to see those types of players in the years to come.
When it comes to following the club, it can be difficult at times here in the US as matches are not on TV every week like with many of the Premier League clubs. However, over the years Twitter has been a blessing and, utilizing apps like Fotmob and now iFollow, I am able to at least see every match. As for the commentary, I generally rely on social media to help fill in the gaps and keep up to date with what is happening off the pitch.
Again, it does make it difficult at times to stay up to date but I am sure it is a lot easier for supporters like myself to keep up with the club outside of England today than at anytime in the past.
To help other Reading supporters like myself here in the states, I set up a group called United States of Reading FC. My goal is to help supporters find other Royals supporters close to them so they can meet up and watch matches together and mostly have someone to talk about the club with. Most of my friends know enough about the club from me but it’s different when you find someone who already supports the club.
I was lucky enough to find a fellow Royals supporter when I lived in Charleston, South Carolina. His name is Andrew Bell and he is the former President of one of the oldest active professional clubs here in the US, the Charleston Battery. It was a crazy coincidence. The club had a ‘wear your favorite Premier League jersey and get a free pint’ night. We both wore our jerseys and realized we were probably the only two Reading supporters in the entire state of South Carolina.
In the end, I love this club. I know it is weird for an American to love a club I may never get a chance to see play in person, but football is more than that to me. I fell in love with this club because they gave Americans a shot when not a lot of clubs were doing that. Ten years ago I figured it was time to return the favor and I would not have changed any of it for the world.
Erin Moyer runs the Twitter account @USofReadingFC which is well worth a follow.
Are you a Loyal Royal who supports Reading FC from afar? We’d love to hear about your story - get in touch via Twitter @TheTilehurstEnd, or on email firstname.lastname@example.org.