Royals players, staff and fans have backed a proposed show of appreciation for ex-Reading and Sheffield United defender Chris Armstrong , ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with the Blades.
The left back was a fantastic servant for both clubs, but was sadly forced to retire from the game at the age of 28 after battling Multiple Sclerosis.
As news of the cup draw broke, a number of supporters suggested that both sets of fans might like to rise to show their support for Chris in the third minute of the tie, with the number three, of course – being Armstrong’s squad number at both Bramall Lane and Madejski Stadium.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Brian McDermott gave his full support to the ‘fitting’ tribute.
“Chris would never ask for anything. That’s the nature of the man he is,” said Brian.
“If that’s what the Sheffield United and Reading fans wanted to do after three minutes then I think that would be very fitting for a person of the stature of Chris Armstrong – considering what he did for both Reading and Sheffield United, what he does as a person, and for football in general. I’d certainly join in!
“I saw what he went through that summer, and we had to obviously keep things quiet. He worked every single day, he got himself into a situation where he played a couple of league games for us – which was amazing. It was incredible. The strength of character that he had to show was astonishing –what he’s got inside, you can’t bottle that.
“We invited him down to the game this weekend and it would have been great to have him here, but unfortunately he has to stay in the North East – as his little girl Frankie is celebrating her first birthday. But that’s Chris for you – he wouldn’t want the fuss!”
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– using the hashtag #aminuteforchris