Centenary of Royal history100 years ago this Sunday, on 12th May 1913, Reading defeated AC Milan 5-0 in Italy, prompting the Royals to be described as 'without doubt the finest foreign team seen in Italy.'
This tour is featured in Tuesday's special 100-page progamme, and historian Alan Sedunary takes up the story of the Milan game:
This game was expected to be a tougher challenge than Reading’s easy win over Genoa so one change was made as Allen Foster, our top scorer for the previous two seasons, was preferred to Ivor Brown. Reading’s full team was: Dr J H Burnham; Jack Smith, Charlie Stevens, Jock Comrie, Ted Hanney, Dave Willis; Jim Morris, Allen Foster, Joe Bailey, Andrew Burton, Jimmy Lofthouse.
Despite their opponents’ impressive pedigree, it took Reading just two minutes to open the scoring and after 15 minutes the Biscuitmen had scored another two goals. Half time came with Reading 4-0 up and, despite easing up in the second half, a further goal was added to make the final score Milan 0 Reading 5. It was such a comprehensive performance that the home side were restricted to just one chance, which fell to Belgium international Louis van Herge, who went on to
Allen Foster was Reading’s hero with a hat-trick while Jimmy Lofthouse and Joe Bailey (although one Italian paper credited this goal to Andrew Burton) scored the other two. Not surprisingly, the Italian papers were impressed with Reading’s display and the Milan-based paper, Corriere della Sera, described Reading as ‘without doubt the finest foreign team seen in Italy’.
There is much more on the Italy tour in Tuesday's programme, which is a bumper 100 pages but still only £3. Read the story of how the club nearly died 30 years ago, a message from Anton Zingarevich and much, much more.