A look at key events in our manager’s history in football
We welcomed Brian McDermott to Madejski Stadium today to take the reins as Reading manager once again. So we recount some of the key moments of his career, both on the pitch and in the dugout…
10 March 1979
After a couple of years in the Academy and an impressive run of form in the Arsenal reserve team, a 17-year-old Brian McDermott makes his Gunners first team debut as a substitute against Bristol City.
After a brief stint with Fulham, McDermott moves on loan to IFK Norrköping in Sweden – and made a huge impression during his six months in Scandanavia. The club makes it to the final of the Allsvenskan and McDermott is voted as Sweden’s Player of the Season for his performances.
11 May 1985
Winger McDermott wins his first piece of silverware as a player – a 4-0 win for Oxford United, his second permanent club, on the final day of the campaign against visitors Barnsley earns the U’s the Second Division title and secures promotion.
After a spell on a loan at Huddersfield, McDermott moves abroad again to join Swedish giants Djurgardens IF on a six-month loan deal – the club had just been promoted back to the Allsvenskan after four years in the second tier.
4 May 1988
Torquay United’s 1-0 defeat in Burnley guarantees that McDermott’s Cardiff City team can’t be caught in second place in Division Four, securing promotion during his single season with the South Wales club. The Bluebirds then went away to Turf Moor on May 7th – a day before McDermott’s 27th birthday – and registered a fifth straight win to sign off the season in style.
28 April 1990
Under the stewardship of Terry Cooper, McDermott helps Exeter City to the Division Four title – a 3-2 victory at St James Park in front of a bumper crowd put the league beyond the reach of closest rivals Grimsby and earned McDermott another medal.
McDermott heads out to the Far East to link up with former Exeter teammate Steve Neville to play at South China AA in Hong Kong, one of the biggest clubs in that part of the world at the time; Neville had won the golden boot in a title-winning charge for the club the previous season. McDermott helps South China to a runners-up medal in the 1992/93 campaign, and has opportunities to play in China, Philippines and Thailand.
1 March 1996
Back on home shores, McDermott ended his playing days with non-League hometown side Slough Town – but following the departure of Dave Russell, he is appointed in his very first managerial post at the start of March 1996.
After departing Slough, McDermott took charge of a Woking side that had earned just one point in their first seven Conference fixtures and lay level on points with bottom side Doncaster. Draws with Yeovil and Cheltenham were followed by a remarkable run of seven wins in eight games – the Cards eventually finished an impressive eighth that season.
McDermott’s affiliation with Reading begins as he is appointed to the position of Chief Scout of Alan Pardew’s Royals side. He also took charge of youth sides and the reserve team.
10 May 2007
Following promotion to the top flight, the Royals’ reserves finish top of the FA Premier Reserve League (South) ahead of the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs, setting up a play-off with northern winners Bolton Wanderers. A 2-0 victory against the Trotters at Madejski Stadium earns McDermott’s reserves the title.
17 December 2009
McDermott is appointed as caretaker manager of the first team at Reading, following the departure of Brendan Rodgers. Two days later, Simon Church’s late equaliser earns the Royals a point in his first fixture against Bristol City.
13 January 2010
The new Royals boss earns his first win – a dramatic 2-1 victory away at Liverpool in an FA Cup Third Round replay, and Reading’s first ever win at Anfield! Gylfi Sigurdsson’s final-minute penalty took the tie to extra-time, allowing Shane Long to grab the winner for McDermott and the travelling Royals fans.
27 January 2010
McDermott is appointed as permanent manager of the Royals, handed a 12-month rolling contract by Chairman Sir John Madejski. His first game in charge saw Reading win 1-0 at home to Barnsley two days later.
24 February 2010
In the FA Cup Fifth Round, McDermott’s side were drawn against West Brom and it was another 90th-minute equaliser in a replay that took the game to extra-time. Brian Howard’s late goal forced another 30 minutes, during which Sigurdsson secured a 3-2 win to take the Royals to an FA Cup Quarter-Final for the first time since 1927.
1 March 2011
A first-half goal by captain Matt Mills sees McDermott’s men earn a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park, knocking Everton out of the FA Cup and securing an unprecedented back-to-back appearance in the FA Cup Quarter-Final for the club.
17 May 2011
After a goalless Championship play-off first-leg at Madejski Stadium, McDermott masterminded a 3-0 away win in Cardiff to send the Royals to the final at Wembley. Shane Long found the net twice before the break, and Jobi McAnuff sealed the deal in the final ten minutes.
28 January 2012
After a stop-start beginning to the season, the Royals were lying eighth in the Championship table going into a home clash with Bristol City. A 1-0 win against the Robins at the end of January prompted a run of 15 victories in 17 fixtures for the Royals, and ascension to the league summit.
17 April 2012
McDermott secures Premier League promotion with a sixth consecutive win – Mikele Leigertwood fired in on a Tuesday evening against Nottingham Forest to settle matters and book a place in the top tier. The following Saturday, the Championship title was also sealed after a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
6 February 2013
Following a remarkable month, which saw Reading rescue seven points from losing positions in three Premier League games (against West Brom, Newcastle United and Chelsea) and beat Crawley and Sheffield United in the FA Cup, McDermott was named Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for January 2013.
11 March 2013
Reading and McDermott part company – the boss left Reading with a win ratio of 44.97% during his 169 games (a marginally better record than Steve Coppell), including a 50.4% win ratio in the Championship. He took the vacant managerial position at Leeds the following month, and remained at Elland Road for a little over a year.
6 October 2014
McDermott returns to Arsenal – where his professional playing career began – to take up a post as Chief Scout for the North London club.
17 December 2015
Brian McDermott becomes manager of Reading FC for a second time – the future is yet to be written…