News and events

1985-1986 Reunion - Review

 

The Reading FC Former Players' Association, in close partnership with Reading Football Club, were proud to welcome Reading FC's 1985/86 record breaking and Third Division Championship winning squad when they were chief guests at the recent Nottingham Forest match.

Manager Ian Branfoot and skipper Martin Hicks headed a list of 11 team members who, with family and friends, celebrated 31 years of establishing a Football League record of 13 straight wins from the start of a season – a record the club still hold today.

Those attending the Madejski Stadium event were Reading's all time record goal scorer Trevor Senior, Assistant Manager Stewart Henderson, Gary Westwood, Steve Wood, Michael Gilkes, Gary Peters, Mark White, Steve Richardson and Jerry Williams.

They joined members in the Vice-Presidents' Lounge to reminisce about that great season and their Royals careers.

After a two course meal, they settled down to watch Readings fine 2-0 win over Forest.

At half time they were presented to the crowd with record appearance holder Hicks holding aloft the Canon League Division Three Championship trophy much to the resounding applause of the 17,000 crowd.

Hicks said afterwards, "It was a great day. We had so much to talk about and catch up on. Many of us hadn't met up for many, many years"

Michael Gilkes was particularly pleased to have, at last, put his hands on the trophy and explained, "I never got to hold the trophy even at the official presentation in 1986 and now, 30 years later, I actually got to hold it!"

Mark White, a player with 12 years at the club, said, "My children never saw me play or experience my life as a footballer, but today they shared in this great celebration"

Manager Ian Branfoot (the first Reading Manager to take the club to Wembley or a national final) said, "It was great to meet up with all those great players and great characters. Seeing Michael Boahene was a bonus as I have been trying to contact him and his brother, Frank, for a number of years!"

Goalkeeper Gary Westwood wasn't satisfied with this one reunion, he said, "It was great to see team mates that I hadn't seen for such a long time. Perhaps we could do this again, say every five years?!"

One player that was fondly remembered during the day was the late Dean Horrix. Horrix played a major part in the ‘85/86 championship winning season, but who tragically passed away in a car crash in 1990.

09 November 2016



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