Royals and Blades come together in support of #aminuteforchris
Reading and Sheffield United supporters came together to magnificently mark the third minute of our FA Cup tie with a fitting show of appreciation for Chris Armstrong, who played as number 3 for both the Blades and the Royals.
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 - and with his two teams drawn against each other in the Fourth Round, supporters before the game began to suggest a minute's applause for Chris, recognising the efforts of an inspirational footballer.
And the whole stadium rose to its feet and applauded as one, singing Armstrong's name from the stands in an emotional gesture to one of the nicest guys in the game.
Manager Brian McDermott applauded for the full minute from the technical area and Blades boss Danny Wilson publicly showed his support too.
"It was really nice to see," McDermott said. "Chris is obviously so well respected at both Reading and Sheffield United. We were delighted to join in from our point of view. I saw Danny [Wilson] and his staff join in too so it was a really nice moment.
"If you saw Chris at our training ground in the July before our 2010-11 season, a season in which he managed to come into the team and play really well in a few games on our way to the play-off final, the journey he went on was incredible. It was one of the most moving things I have ever seen in my life.
"Chris Armstrong is one of life's inspirational characters, one of life's great people - and I'm delighted that he has played for Reading. And I'm proud to know him."
Chris, our Player of the Season in 2008-9, was invited to the game by the club but couldn't make it, understandably choosing instead to celebrate his daughter Frankie Faith Armstrong's first birthday back in his native north-east.
Happy Birthday Frankie and thanks again Chris for all you did during your career at Reading Football Club.