Reading FC will start their second spell in the Premier League next season having emerged from the pack in the Championship to lift the title by a single, solitary point. This, however, is a club with a very lengthy history. Founded in 1871, Reading joined the Football League in 1920, but the amount of time that they spent in the lower divisions means that finding archive footage of them can be a little tricky.
Our first three matches all come from the 1987/88 season. First up is a League Cup match against Chelsea from September 1987. This is a first leg match, and it’s worth bearing in mind when watching this that the club did get through after only losing the second leg by three goals to two.
There was no League Cup glory for Reading that season – they were knocked out in the Fourth Round by Bradford City, but the team did get to Wembley that season in the Simod Cup, the competition created to fill the void left by the post-Heysel ban on English clubs in Europe. They had already beaten Queens Park Rangers, Oxford United, Nottingham Forest and Bradford City by the time that they reached their semi-final match against Coventry City and, having got through that the final at Wembley attracted a crowd of 61,470 people. Our next match is from the following season, and is in two parts. It’s an FA Cup match from Dartford FCs Watling Street, which was then the home of Maidstone United.
We then skip forward to the 1990s and a trip to Leyton Orient from January 1993, and then forward another two years for a live televised match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elm Park. The club left this venue for The Madejski Stadium in 1998, and our final match comes from there – a Premier League match against Liverpool from December 2007. Reading will get the opportunity to test themselves against them again next season.
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