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Jem Karacan




Date of birth






Karacan was first spotted by the Royals while playing against our Academy, on trial at the time with Manchester United.

At 18 he signed a professional contract with Reading, but spent his first year-and-half out on loan to Bournemouth and Millwall.

The start of the 2008/09 season saw Jem burst into the first team, and before long he became a fans favourite. Scoring on your Madejski Stadium debut doesn’t do any harm, the waspish midfield maestro opened his account in our 5-1 League Cup win over Luton Town in August 2008.

Having gained first team experience at League One clubs the previous season, the tough-tackling Turkey international went on to establish himself as a regular in the Royals midfield that season, and he’s been an integral part of their success ever since.

He hit 100 appearances as he helped the club into the top flight in 2011/12, a season which ended for the all action star with a broken ankle picked up in a win over Leeds United.

But he was back at Madejski Stadium with tears of unbridled emotion rolling down his cheeks and morphine running through his veins, he had discharged himself from hospital to celebrate promotion with his teammates following that 1-0 win over Forest in April.

Celebrating on crutches, he came second in the Player of the Season poll that season and starred again in the Premier League the following year.

On returning to fitness in time for the start of that Premier League season, he netted his first top flight goal in a 4-2 trouncing at Fulham, a collector’s item as victories were spas that season.

Jem began the 2013/14 season in uppermost form, scoring twice in an exhilarating 3-3 draw with Watford at the Madejski.  

Unfortunately, during the home game against Leeds that season, Karacan suffered a serious knee injury which would see him out for at least nine months, the club later revealing that he had ruptured both anterior cruciate and medial ligaments.  

On 10th January 2015, Royals fans burst out in applause, on the 86th minute of the game against Middlesbrough, Karacan made his return onto the hallowed turf of Madejski stadium.

Then in July, Jem completed a dream move to Turkish Super League giants Galatasaray, signing a three-year deal following the expiry of his Royals contract.

He then returned to England to help Bolton Wanderers to promotion from League One, and departed the Trotters in 2018 after they survived in the Championship.