Profiles of players to have worn both jerseys
Down the years, several players have traversed the 75-mile stretch of the M4 between Reading and Bristol to feature for both the Royals and the Robins. With Bristol City our next visitors at Madejski Stadium on Saturday – and our first guests of 2016 – we take a look at nine players that have represented both clubs during their careers…
Bristol-born full-back Golbourne began his playing career with his hometown club – he joined the Ashton Gate club as a 15-year-old academy player, and would go on to make 15 appearances for the first team before joining Reading in 2005. His Royals debut came from the bench in the 2005/06 Championship title-winning season, replacing Nicky Shorey in a 3-1 triumph against Stoke. His next Reading appearance didn’t come for another year, following loan spells with Wycombe and Bournemouth, and he couldn’t help the team from being turned over 3-0 against Bolton in the Premier League. He revitalised his career with Exeter – making over a century of appearances – before joining Barnsley and then Wolves, where he remains today.
Another alumnus of the Bristol City Academy, Rosenior’s first full season held both highs and lows – he netted a match-sealing goal in the LDV Vans Trophy final in a 2-0 win against Carlisle, but the following month he was unable to help the Robins past Cardiff over two legs in the Division Two play-off semi-finals – they had finished just three points off an automatic spot. Fulham moved quickly to bring in the defender at the end of the season, and four years later he joined Reading. Rosenior spent the last of his three years at Madejski Stadium out on loan with Ipswich, before joining Hull in 2010 – where he was a teammate of current Royals Stephen Quinn and Paul McShane. He finally departed last summer, joining Brighton & Hove Albion.
Scottish winger Murray first moved south of the border to join Aston Villa, who had been suitably impressed with his trial and paid a substantial transfer fee to bring him in from Highland League side Fraserburgh. It was during his two spells at Bristol City that he made his most telling impact – the Ashton Gate tenures sandwiched a single season at Reading. After falling just short of Division Two promotion in 2003 – in a campaign where he led the Robins’ goalscoring charts – he linked up with Reading. However he rejoined Bristol City towards the end of the 2003/04 campaign and helped them to the play-off final, which was ultimately futile as Brighton took the place in the newly-named Championship the next season. He played five more seasons with the Robins, earning a total of 427 appearances and making him the tenth-highest appearance maker for the club in their history. Murray had spells with Yeovil and Bath before hanging up his boots – he now works as kit man for City.
Current Royals Under-21 coach Martin Kuhl – who took charge of first-team affairs as caretaker recently – finished his professional career in England with Bristol City, making 115 appearances for the Robins. He later went on to represent Hong Kong side Happy Valley and returned to England to represent Farnborough, Carshalton and Aldershot – the latter of which he would manage as caretaker five years later. Originally from Frimley, Kuhl’s playing career began in the Midlands with Birmingham City – where he spent six years as an academy player and first-team midfielder – before moving to Sheffield United, Watford, Portsmouth and Derby, and then on to Bristol City. Whilst at Pompey, he helped the south-coast club to a remarkable FA Cup run which was ultimately ended in the semi-final by Liverpool, who were winners on penalties after a replay.
Former Trinidad & Tobago international midfielder Rougier spent three of his five years in England with Reading – initially he had crossed the Atlantic to join Scottish outfit Raith Rovers, and after two impressive years with the Kirkcaldy-based side, he was off to Edinburgh to represent Hibernian. Port Vale became his first English club in 1999, and the following year he moved to Madejski Stadum – he would pull on the Royals’ jersey a total of 98 times, and scored six goals. Shortly after being introduced from the bench against Oxford, he found the net twice to overturn a deficit and make it 4-3 to Reading in a remarkable derby victory against the U’s in the 2000/01 campaign. He left for Brentford in 2003, then joined Bristol City for the run-in in the 2003/04 season – after the Robins were defeated in the play-off final by Brighton, he moved to China to represent Nanjing Yoyo. After a spell in the USA with Rochester Rhinos, he returned to his homeland to see out his playing days.
Fondly remembered for his moonwalking goalscoring celebrations at other clubs, striker Savage had an injury-hampered spell at Reading – he missed the 2002/03 campaign in its entirety, and left with 18 appearances (many in midfield) and without a goal to his name. After his release in 2005, he spent a single season with Bristol City and scored just once in his 23 appearances – a point-saving goal at Ashton Gate against Scunthorpe – before linking up with Gillingham the next season. The Wandsworth-born marksman went on to feature for Brighton, Millwall, Tranmere, Dagenham and Northampton in the Football League and then linked up with Thai outfit TOT Sports Club, where he has been since 2012.
Full-back Shorey enjoyed a quite remarkable first tenure with the Royals – snaffled up during the 2000/01 season from Third Division Leyton Orient, he became a mainstay of the Reading team that first won promotion from Division Two in 2002, and then reached the promised land of the Premier League with a record-setting 106 Championship points in 2006. He played 44 times and netted twice during that incredible campaign – the goals coming in back-to-back wins against Norwich and Crewe. Shorey’s excellent form continued into the top flight, and prompted call-ups to the England national team – he featured twice for the Three Lions, against Brazil and Germany. After seven successful seasons with Reading, he left for Aston Villa in 2008, before a cross-town move to West Brom and eventually rejoining Reading for the 2012/13 Premier League campaign. He left following relegation and played the first half of the 2013/14 season with Bristol City, and signed for Portsmouth in January. Most recently he represented Pune City, managed by David Platt, in the Indian Super League.
Cameroonian centre-half Bikey had spent his playing career in Portugal (with Marco, Aves and Paços de Ferreira) and Russia (with Shinnik Yaroslavl and Lokomotiv Moscow) before linking up with Reading in the summer of 2006, in time for the Royals’ maiden Premier League campaign. Used a little sparingly during his three seasons at Madejski Stadium, his most telling contribution in the goalscoring department was netting a brace in a 2-1 win against Birmingham in the 2007/08 campaign. He was sent off in his final game for the Royals – a Championship play-off semi-final against Burnley – and after the Clarets won promotion that summer, he moved to Turf Moor to join them in the Premier League. His spell with Bristol City came on loan from Burnley at the end of the 2011/12 campaign – they were struggling when he arrived, but they were undefeated in his seven games and avoided the drop. Bikey went on to represent Middlesbrough, Greek side Panetokilos, Charlton and Indian outfit NorthEast United.
Born in France, Malian international Cissé started his pro career in Portugal – despite suffering relegation with Estoril, his impressive performances earned him a move to Boavista. Two years later, he was en route to England to join Reading – he was used in defence and in midfield for the Royals, and in his second season he won our Goal of the Season award for a critical winner against Wolves. Bristol City paid for his services in the summer of 2010, where he linked up once again with Steve Coppell. Cissé joined New England Revolution ahead of the 2013 MLS season, but brought his contract with the club to an early end to move back to the Championship with Derby. He only played three times for the Rams, before departing to join Thai side Bangkok United.