Best wishes to MikeleA very Happy 31st Birthday to Mikele Leigertwood, whose name has forever been etched in Reading FC history.
Leigertwood scored our goal to beat Nottingham Forest on 17th April last year, thereby sending us into the Premier League for only the second time in our history.
Mikele was in fact the first man to score a single goal that sent us into the top flight - Kevin Doyle did of course score at Leicester in 2006 but we would have gone up that day even if we'd lost to the Foxes, such was our lead at the top of the table. So arguably Ledge scored the single most important goal in our history.
Leigertwood sent Brian McDermott's rampant team to the top flight last year after helping us to a sensational run of 18 wins in 22 games. As well as his Forest goal, he also scored against Leicester, Blackpool and West Ham late in the season to help us win the League.
And when he first joined, Ledge went 19 games without defeat, helping take us to a Wembley play-off against Swansea City.
He has been out injured since the tail end of last season, but he is in the early stages of a return to training and boss Nigel Adkins has been singing his praises for his professionalism and personality.
It's not just Ledge who has been celebrating recently; Kaspars Gorkss and Pavel Pogrebnyak had birthdays last week; Jobi McAnuff and Alex Pearce on Saturday, and Nick Blackman yesterday! We'd like to wish them all many happy returns.
Relive Ledge's historic goal on our YouTube channel now.