Club stalwart to retire
Mike Kearney is retiring this summer, having made a huge contribution to the Reading Football Club both on and off the pitch.
Mike’s association with the Royals began some 35 years ago in 1978 when Maurice Evans signed him from Chester City. He went on to play 145 games for the club, winning the title in his first year, scoring 36 goals and becoming a favourite with the Elm Park crowd for his workrate, character and ability. As an example of his standing with our supporters, he went on to receive a number of nominations in our Player of the Millennium voting.
Legendary boss Evans held him in such high regard that he bought him three times, twice for Reading and previously at Shrewsbury when he became Maurice’s first ever signing as a manager.
When his playing days came to an end he was soon helping the club off the pitch, and supporters will remember the invaluable contribution he and his wife Grace made in running the Royals Rendezvous bar on Tilehurst Road, just outside Elm Park’s South Bank.
When we moved to Madejski Stadium, Mike remained an integral part of the club, looking after our promotions department and then as facilities manager at Hogwood Park. And until 2010 Grace was also working at the club, while their daughter Paula was also an employee, grandson Anton Rodgers was on our Academy books and son-in-law Brendan Rodgers was of course a player, Academy manager and then first team manager; the Kearney family has been an intrinsic part of the club’s fabric in recent times.
Chairman Sir John Madejski said, "On behalf of the entire club I would like to wish Mike all the very best in his retirement. I must say there are not too many people at the club who have been here longer than I have!
"We will miss having Mike here, he has been an absolute stalwart of our club since the late 1970s. They were great days at Elm Park with he and Grace in the Royals Rendezvous and it simply would not have worked without them. He then built up our promotions department and has worked very hard running the training ground in the last few years.
"People like Mike make this club what it is and his contribution on and off the pitch has my absolute respect, and that of everyone here."