Jamie Cureton's Most Important Goal
JAMIE CURETON has scored 263 times in his long and illustrious career, but there is one goal in that impressive tally that ensures he will forever be remembered as a Reading legend.
It came against Brentford at Griffin Park on April 20, 2002 and sparked celebrations that will live long in the memory of every Royals fan who was in west London that famous afternoon.
Reading were trailing 1-0 to Steve Coppell’s side and knew if they couldn’t find a goal, it was Brentford who would be promoted as Division 2 runners-up alongside champions Brighton.
So Alan Pardew, Royals’ boss at the time, turned to his substitutes bench and called for Cureton.
It was a decision that was to change Reading’s history as within a matter of minutes the striker had lobbed a wonderful finish over Bees keeper Paul Smith to give Reading the equaliser they needed.
The goal has gone down in club folklore and it’s one Cureton lists as his most important.
“When I get asked what was my most important goal, I say that one,” said the 39-year-old, who currently plies his trade in League 2 with Dagenham & Redbridge.
“Of all the goals I’ve scored, it’s that one because of what it achieved.
“If I hadn’t scored that, I’m not sure what we would have done. Would we have gone up in the play-offs? I don’t know.
“To get that goal, at that point in the game and for what it then pushed Reading on to do, it’s probably my most important.
“It’s something I’m very proud of. I was proud of being in the group that we had. We were a good team and Pards had put together a good squad.
“They were probably the best three years on the trot that I’ve had in my career.”
Thank you to Charles Watts and GetReading for permission to re-produce this article.
13 October 2014