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Reading FC's One-Season Wonders

'The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long' Wimb looks at five Royals will all too brief peaks.

Reading v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

We've all been there, you're not amazing on the golf course/football pitch/class room/bowling alley/GoldenEye on the N64 but on one magical afternoon it all comes together and you feel like a world beater. You then turn up the following week full of confidence and swiftly realise that OK you're not that good after all. It's happened to us all at some point (except GoldenEye, I'll still take on all comers..) and professional football is no different, with some players failing to shine after one bright period in the glow of awesomeness.

So which Reading players could be fairly described as one-season wonders? For clarification, I'm not talking about players including Gylfi Sigurdsson and Simon Osborn who had their Royals career cut short because they were so good, instead I'm looking at those who had multiple years at the club but only really had one good campaign.

Nick Blackman - 2015/16

Blackman barely counts as a one-season wonder, given his lone purple patch in blue and white hoops came in a three-month period in 2015. Yet between August and October 2015 there were few better players in the Championship and Blackman's return of 11 goals in as many games was as prolific as we'd seen at the Madejski for a long time. Sadly, before and after those months, there was very little to be impressed with from the former Sheffield United forward.

Blackman scored just 11 goals in 102 appearances outside of that run, and never fully won the hearts of Reading fans, not least for his mocking celebrations while still a Reading player at Derby. Fortunately the story had a happy ending for us, as Derby somehow ended up parting with over £3m for Blackman, despite the forward's contract running out just six months later. To highlight his streaky nature, he's only managed a single league goal in the 12 months since

Bobby Convey - 2005/06

2005/06 Bobby Convey was awesome. 2004/05 & 2007-09 Convey? Not so much.

Alongside Glen Little, Convey was part of a side who took the Championship by storm. The American winger was sublime and looked to be finally living up to the promise that saw Tottenham come so close to signing him a couple of years before. His debut season in Berkshire may have been mediocre but after seven goals and a bucket load of assists in the 106 season, it was surely all systems go from here right?


Injuries and the emergence of Stephen Hunt saw Convey's opportunities dry up and he'd be limited to just 35 league appearances without a single goal over the following three campaigns.

Simon Church 2009/10

Few Reading players have made their debuts under more pressure than the Academy Graduate, who was thrown in to start against Burnley in the second leg of our 2009 Play-Off Semi-Final. Churchy couldn't stop us exiting that night but it set him up to be a big part of Brendan Rodgers new generation the following year.

12 goals followed in all competitions for the Welsh International, including a memorable effort on the final day against Preston, where a side now under Brian McDermott finished off the campaign in style.

Expectations were high for Church to continue his breakout form but goal returns of five and seven in the next two seasons weren't quite up to standard and the forward would wind up without a place in our 23-man Premier League squad in 2012/13.

Lee Nogan - 1994/95

It's been a running joke between myself and Wimb Snr that Lee Nogan was worth about 50p but his signing in early 1995 provided the impetus to drive us on to an unlikely Wembley adventure.

Nogan formed a cracking partnership with Stuart Lovell that yielded 25 goals including eleven for the Welshman, and his skillful finish in that season's play-off final is often forgotten in the pain of what followed.

That goal would be about as good as it got for Nogan, who quickly faded alongside the rest of the Reading squad in our final seasons at Elm Park. Lee found the net just 16 times over the next two seasons.

Matt Robinson - 1999/00

He's been largely forgotten thanks to the flood of good left-backs who followed in his footsteps at the Mad Stad but Matt 'Rooster' Robinson was a key part of Alan Pardew's Reading revival at the turn of the Millennium. His energy and dynamism down the left-hand side of the Reading defence was a key component in taking a team from relegation fodder to laying the foundations of a title challenge.

Sadly his energy and drive just couldn't sustain him through the rebuilding project and eventually the class of Nicky Shorey proved too much for Pardew to resist.

That's my five but who stands out for you among Reading's one-season wonders?