Players go mad when they find out we are champions!!
I came back to the UK for the promotion run in and with the hope of winning £700 pounds due to some smart bets placed earlier in the season. Reading's form had been frightening. They spent game after game soaking up pressure only to break away and score. The form since Christmas was the best in the league.
The home game against Forest was where we sealed promotion and virtually the whole crowd ran on to the pitch to celebrate. The title was taken about two hours after the Crystal Palace game when Southampton lost at Middlesborough
The key game, Southampton 1 Reading 3
This game was one of the highlights of the season. Southampton were still top despite Reading's surge up the league. A full house at St Mary's and an away end packed with passionate Reading fans. What a result!!
Another important one, Brighton 0 Reading 1
My first away game since coming back. Traffic nightmare trying to find somewhere to park. Park and stupid rides all full up, police unable to help, looked like we were going to miss the first half hour of the game. In desperation we parked on a grass verge two minutes from the stadium and hoped for the best. The game was a backs to the wall contest, they battered us and even missed a penalty. It was freezing cold....but we won and the there was no parking ticket on the car...result!
THE SQUAD 2011/2012
ADAM LE FONDRE
BRIAN McDERMOTT (MANAGER)
JOHN MADJESKI (CHAIRMAN)
Reading made the play offs and had to play Cardiff. Reading drew 0-0 in the first leg so Nick and I drove down to Cardiff for the 2nd leg. Met Gareth in Cowbridge first for a few ales and was feeling a bit drunk when we arrived. The game was an absolute classic as you can see on the video and we won 3-0. The best atmosphere at a game I have experienced for years....Now for Swansea City and third time lucky at play off finals!
Got myself decked out in the colours, ready for the final.
Well, the big day came and somewhat to my consternation we didn't leave until 11am. I was dying to get there early to savour the atmosphere...but anyway. We arrived close enough to Wembley where Mike and I got out and walked to the pub as the traffic wasn't moving. The main pubs were all full so we ended up in some overflow pubs where the atmosphere wasn't that great but we did proceed to get drunk! Nick the Perv arrived as it was close to where he now lives in London. He was originally just coming for a quick beer but after walking with us to the stadium managed to blag a discount ticket!
The atmosphere inside the ground was electric, as you'd expect from 86,500 fans, half in Swansea white and half in the blue and white hoops.
Anyway, after going 3-0 down at half time the atmosphere subdued a little but when we pulled 2 back in the second half it was mayhem in the Reading end. Lost 4-2 but incredible game with plenty of heart pulling emotion.
Here's my take on the game. The trip up, the pub, walking to the stadium and most of all...the CROWD.
THE GAME HIGHLIGHTS...painful viewing for myself it has to be said.
See the game at Chelsea on boxing day 2006
Defeat at Middlesbrough in Feb 2007
Amazing win at Bolton in April 2007
End of season draw at Blackburn May 2007
Sept 2003 at West Ham
click here to see our 2005 trip to Plymouth
click here to see pictures of our trip to Cardiff for the play off final 2000/01
First game of the 2002/03 season against Derby
Check out the 2002/03 play off semi final 1st leg game
Click here to see a little bit of the relegation season
Click here to see my travels around the UK for Reading's first ever Premiership season
video's and pictures of Readings epic promotion season
Click here to relive the thrills and spills of Readings promotion year