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Fans Enjoy An Evening With Brian McDermott
BRIAN McDERMOTT has revealed he wanted to bring Shane Long back to Reading, but was overruled by former owner Anton Zingarevich, who opted to sign Pavel Pogrebnyak instead.
Royals’ ex-manager made the revelation at a special Q&A fundraiser on Thursday night where he spoke at length about his time in charge at Madejski Stadium.
The event, organised by the Reading Former Players’ Association (FPA), saw over 100 lucky supporters pack into the Tilehurst British Legion to enjoy ‘an evening with Brian McDermott’.
And Reading’s ex-boss, sacked in 2013 despite having led the club to the Premier League just a year earlier, proved to be a huge hit.
Along with club legend Ady Williams, who compered the night, he spoke about his affection for the club and the 2012 title win.
McDermott also gave an insight into his time at Leeds, which ended in the summer when he was fired by Massimo Cellino.
Chairman of the FPA, Richard Wickson, said: “It was a great night. Brian was terrific and the crowd were loving it.
“He stayed on longer than I put on the itinerary. He was only too happy to stay on and answer questions, have his photo taken and sign autographs.”
Royals fan Jacob South-Klein was one of those lucky enough to be in the audience. He said: “It was a very entertaining, and insightful, night out.
"Brian was on fine form. He was candid and honest, never ducking out of a question – and what he had to say on the regimes of Massimo Cellino, and particularly Anton Zingarevich, was particularly sobering.
"You could tell he’s had to put up with a lot (and has taken a lot from) working under those conditions, and been hardened as result."
South-Klein added: "Brian spoke glowingly about some of his ex-staff and players: Shane Long, in his own words, was like a son to him.
"But more than anything else, it was Brian’s old dry wit that had the floor hooked all evening.
"Whether talking about his playing career, transfer deadline day (and agonising missed transfer targets), pre-season tours, or backroom goings-on, he fielded it all with the same down-to-earth and understated attitude which has endeared him to Reading fans for years.
"I also have to give a shout-out to Ady Williams, whose compering would give Michael Parkinson a run for his money any day of the week.
"Hats off to all involved."
01 November 2014
04 April 2019