The 150th anniversary legends match proved a great afternoon for all involved with Reading. The club have got a lot wrong recently, but what a joyous way to end our 150th season. It was just brilliant to see so many familiar faces and absolute legends back at the Mad Stad for an unusually fun and stress-free match!
And with that, let’s have some fun and try to pull some ‘ratings’ together.
Steve Coppell’s team
Marcus Hahnemann: 8
Grew into the game a bit like he has grown into his shirt over the years! A real crowd favourite and even put in a shift up front.
Graeme Murty: 8
Chief entertainer and showman. You can tell he’s had a testimonial by how easily he had the crowd in the palm of his hands. He was definitely ready to come off after 10 minutes but did well to last 20. Captain fantastic.
Ibrahima Sonko: 7
Impressively lasted the full 90, with the highlight being a Superman-esque clearance into the top rows of Y26!
Ivar Ingimarsson: 8
Cultured and ice cool as ever. The whole defence may be slightly disappointed to concede just the eight today though…
Scott Golbourne: 7
You could tell he was one of the younger 106 members! He deputised for Nicky Shorey very well.
James Henry: 9
Two wonderfully taken goals including a 25-yard screamer! There’s a reason he’s still playing professionally, if you call O*ford a professional football club that is.
Glen Little: 7
A couple of absolute shockers early on for Blakey, but he did show the quality we know he has later on in the first half.
Simon Cox: 9
Played out of position in the middle of the park, which was probably to give the 106 team some willing legs in the midfield! He looked one of the fitter players on the whole pitch and put a great shift in.
Stephen Hunt: 8
Deserves credit for appearing to initiate the 13-a-side rule, which Paul Ince should definitely take a look at for next year. Earns an extra point for his totally white hair!
Kevin Doyle: 9
My all-time footballing hero. Gets a nine for that alone and is just a top top bloke. Otherwise a cracking strike into the roof of the net was the highlight today.
Leroy Lita: 9
Leroy still has it. Some lovely touches and even threw himself to the floor in typical style!
Kalifa Cisse: 7
Great to see Kalifa. Formed a nice imperious partnership with Sonko on the right-hand side.
Jamie Cureton: 7
The original bargain. The fact he’s still playing at any level deserves so much credit. Can’t forget he started it all back in 2002 away at Brentford.
Bobby Convey: 7
Didn’t quite run down the wing with as much conviction as back in the day! He just seems, as they all do, like such a fantastic genuine guy, and judging by his pictures on Instagram he seems genuinely delighted to be here.
Harrison Bayley: 7
No disrespect intended, but who was this bloke? Fair play to him, didn’t look out of place.
Steve Emberson: 9
I can only imagine what an honour it must’ve been for Steve to share the pitch with those legends. I bet his eyes lit up when a cross landed perfectly for a volley, only for him to shank it miles wide! I’m sure today’s experience for fans Steve and Jamie raised a ton of money for charity so good on them both!
Brian McDermott’s team
Simon Grant: 7
Today’s mystery was certainly trying to work out who this was. He’s actually a non-league player for Bracknell Town (perhaps Mr Bowen was watching?). Fair play to him, he did OK and hopefully enjoyed his day out.
Andy Griffin: 8
Given his age and playing style he was surprising energetic and willing to overlap! Didn’t look out of place at all.
Alex Pearce: 7
One of the few still playing and you could tell. Pearce was one of many academy graduates involved, so this is a good time to give a shout-out to Eamonn Dolan: he’d be extremely proud watching on today.
Kaspars Gorkss: 7
Caught out a couple of times by Leroy in fairness, but memories of his wolf mask at Birmingham still ensures a solid grade.
Shaun Cummings: 7
A relatively quiet afternoon for Shaun but benefits from my refusal to rate any of these legends below a seven today.
Jimmy Kebe: 8
Vicious rumours that he does what he wants. As exciting as ever and even played up to the crowd with a sock roll or two.
Jem Karacan: 8
Perhaps I’m biased, but I’m sure Jem could’ve done a job for us during our injury crisis last year. So energetic, and even scored a fantastic lob to top things off.
Mikele Leigertwood: 7
Ledge definitely benefited from having Jem’s legs next to him in midfield! He’s still got a great football brain and I’m certainly glad he’s still a part of the club now.
Jobi McAnuff: 7
What a captain, what a player and what a pundit now! He’s clearly lost a yard of pace but is still willing to take players on. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him in the Royals dugout one day.
Simon Church: 7
It’s surprising to me that’s he’s retired - Church is only 33 and definitely put himself about nicely up front. Could he still do a job in the lower leagues? Perhaps. It was great to see him receive a fantastic reception after a few mixed reactions down the years!
Jason Roberts: 8
The Big Bad Wolf! He was about 45 when we signed him in January 2012, so the fact he scored two nice goals today is even more impressive. Roberts was a huge reason we got promoted that year so he’ll live long in the memory.
Hal Robson-Kanu: 7
A little marmite is Hal Robson-Kanu. He received a few friendly jeers but overall a well deserved positive reaction. He’s probably still living off his 2016 Cruyff turn but why not.
Mathieu Manset: 7
Beast! In truth I’m not sure what Mathieu is up to these days, but he still looked the powerhouse he was back when. Perhaps deserved a goal.
Matthew Connolly: 7
Maybe a slightly under-the-radar player from 2012. I don’t think he stuck out, but if memory serves me correctly he could play anywhere along the back four which was invaluable.
Jay Tabb: 7
A great servant for the club and he was still able to get about in midfield today. Helped dominate the midfield for the 2012 team in the second half.
Brian Howard: 9
Class is permanent. In fairness I’m not sure he ever had a yard of pace to lose, but his quality is still there! Howard scored a brilliant hat-trick today and I’ll always have the memory of his late equaliser away at West Brom in the cup.
Nicholas Bignall: 7
A slightly random inclusion today, but once a Royal always a Royal.
Lawson D’Ath: 7
One for all Football Manager players - it was great to see Lawson back today.
Hayden Mullins: 7
Relatively unremarkable today, but having once played roulette with him, I can confirm he’s a solid bloke.
Joseph Mills: 7
Joseph did look very energetic and was a good attacking option down the left, and I’m sure I even spotted a certain Matt Mills on the pitch today!
Jamie Hodder: 9
Very similar to Steve - I bet today was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Jamie and his generous donation will go to a great cause. He did look a huge threat in the air and an aerial duel between him and Sonko would’ve been great viewing!
Absolute dream come true to play with these players infront of a great crowd. Thank you so much to everyone for the support. Big up to Y25/26 for changing my name. You’ll never understand how that made me feel. Love this club forever. @ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/vjZwuEoiCA— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) May 21, 2022