Date of birth
Republic of Ireland
Long was discovered by Cork City who brought him to their club on a scholarship in 2004. He was called to the first team in the 2004/05 season but only managed two appearances before Reading came knocking.
Royals coach Eamonn Dolan had been in talks with his brother Pat Dolan – and after Pat had been removed from his position as manager with York they decided to bring the strike partnership of Kevin Doyle and Shane Long to Reading, where on 7th June 2005 Long signed a two-year contract.
At the age of 19, he was part of the record breaking 2005/06 season scoring three goals in ten substitute appearances.
Who could forget his first league goal at Madejski Stadium – a 74th minute strike that helped Steve Coppell’s men secure the Championship title in glorious style, a 5-0 win against Derby County on 1st April 2006.
Fans only had to wait nine minutes more for him to double that tally, adding the icing on the cake that even brought a smile to the face of the normally emotionless face of Coppell on the side-lines.
Reading had unearthed a gem. Perhaps it was no surprise to see him scoring regularly in the Premier League when he signed for West Brom in 2011 for a hefty fee of £6,500,000.
He went on to notch 19 goals in 60 league starts for the Baggies before his talents were required elsewhere.
He was brought to Hull for a short period making only 15 league starts but still managing four goals. His last matches for the Tigers were in both legs of their UEFA Europa League qualifier before the start of the 2014/15 Premier League season.
Southampton valued the Irish man at £12,000,000 and brought him to the club in August 2014 on a four-year contract. So far he has made 32 league appearances, 16 of them coming as a substitute, scoring five goals.
There’s no doubt that Shane’s memory will live long within fans of the Royals, he will be remembered for his 31 goals and terrier like performances, and for the day to come when he again steps out as a player in front of a full Madejski Stadium, even if it is for the opposing team.