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Leroy Lita




Date of birth






Lita started out at Chelsea as a product of their youth system, but after failing to play for the Blues he swapped London for Bristol to join City.

He started to raise eyebrows with the Robins when he embarked on a prolific goal scoring record, netting 30 goals for the Ashton Gate outfit in 2004/05 and earning his England U21s honours simultaneously.

The arrival of Leroy Lita at Reading for a club record fee of £1million in 2005 represented the board’s faith in Steve Coppell, its ambition to reach the Premier League and a serious belief that this man could fire us into top flight football.

It was a signing from Bristol City that was to prove a masterstroke. An instinctive goal machine, he scored on his debut in one of only two defeats all season and played a vital part in a side that was to embark on a record-breaking run to title glory.

His overhead goal at home to Crystal Palace later that season would grant a special place in Royals fans’ hearts, but he netted 15 goals in total before breaking his ankle at Burnley with promotion already a mere formality.

Lita scored many unforgettable goals for Reading - the winner in our remarkable opening day win over Middlesbrough, his Boxing Day brilliance at Chelsea, a brace that beat Manchester City, cup goals against Liverpool and Manchester United…the list goes on.

Unfortunately for many Reading fans, he fell out of favour a little under Coppell and, finding himself starting less and less games, he left on loan for Charlton and Norwich before a move to Middlesbrough in 2009.

After a stint of 79 appearances for the Boro, he glanced through various clubs across the Championship, most recently settling down with League One side Barnsley.

He is close to surpassing 100 league goals in his career, for sure his most memorable spell came with the Royals, and most fans will still associate the name Leroy Lita with fond memories.