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Club News

Hunt & Tabb reunion

24 January 2014

Former Royals in action

We could face two former Royals as we take on Ipswich Town this coming weekend.

Stephen Hunt signed for Mick McCarthy's side in November, joining ex-Royal Jay Tabb who moved to Portman Road last summer.

Hunt came to Reading in the summer of 2005, signing on a Bosman after his contract at Brentford came to an end. He was actually due to sign for Bradford but a last-minute call from Steve Coppell took him to Berkshire and he helped the Royals in the two most successful years in our history.

He was a key member of the squad in our 106 season, and then in the Premier League, once he took Bobby Convey's place he never looked back. With nine Premier League goals, he won us a number of games and was 2008's player of the season, as voted by fans.

He then stayed upon our relegation back to the Football League, and scored another seven goals as we made the play-offs, before making the switch back to the Premier League with Hull. 

Tabb joined from Coventry midway through Hunt's final season, and was an exceptionally popular player, both from our fans' perspective and also within the dressing room.

He was signed by Steve Coppell, but was also a very useful player for both Brendan Rodgers and Brian McDermott, who called him one of the best professionals he ever worked with.

He made 82(+23) appearances for Reading in three and a half years, and he was a vital contributor to our 2012 promotion, making 10(+9) League appearances. He also made his mark at Premier League level, and had he been awarded a fully-deserved penalty away to Wigan, who knows if that would have made any difference to the season's outcome.

He did of course score when Ipswich came to Reading on the first day of this season, and nobody at Madejski Stadium could begrudge him hitting the back of the net!

Neither Hunt nor Tabb started as Ipswich lost at Millwall last week, so they will be aiming to force their way into Mick McCarthy's starting XI this time around. Either way, their contribution to Reading deserves recognition.

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