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5 ex-Royals that did alright for the Whites...

15 April 2016

Five former Reading men that played for Leeds United...

While manager Brian McDermott is a former manager of Leeds United, none of our current batch of players have the Elland Road club on their CV.  Only a select group of footballers have ran out in the playing strip of both the Royals and the Whites during their careers; ahead of this weekend's trip up to West Yorkshire, we take a look at five of those individuals...

Andy Hughes

Hughes joined the Royals in 2001 from Notts County and became an important part of the Alan Pardew side which won automatic promotion from Nationwide Division Two by finishing second in the table. The midfielder made over 150 appearances for the Royals and went on to join Norwich City in 2005.  Hughes made his move Leeds in August 2007 whilst the club were in League One.

He earned a reputation at Leeds for his high work-rate and became a firm fan favourite at the club, as he helped the side earn promotion to the Championship.  With Simon Grayson as manager, he started 32 of the 33 games which Leeds won that season as the Whites went on to finish as runners-up, and he also played in that famous FA Cup run when Leeds overcame Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Ian Harte

Harte started his professional career with Saturday’s hosts, joining the club as a youngster in 1995.  And the following January, he debuted in the white shirt as a substitute in a 2-0 win over West Ham United.  He went on stay at the club for nine seasons, helping them reach the semi-final of both the UEFA Cup and Champions League during his time there, before leaving for Spanish side Levante in 2004.

It wasn’t until 2010 that the left-back joined the Royals, scoring on his debut from the penalty spot against Crystal Palace.  In 2011/12 Harte played a key role in Reading’s promotion back to the Premier League and was also named in the PFA Team of the Year that season.  Harte played a total of 99 games for the Royals, scoring 15 times - that included no shortage of his trademark free-kicks.

Noel Hunt

Fondly remembered by Royals fans, Hunt signed for the club in 2008 and scored his first goal for the side on his debut - that came in a League Cup tie against Dagenham & Redbridge as we took a 2-1 win. Hunt was a major part of the Reading side that earned promotion back to the Premier League under the stewardship of Brian McDermott in the 2011/12 season; he netted eight times as the Royals took the Championship title.

Hunt made the move to Leeds United in 2013 following Reading’s relegation from the top tier and linked up with his former boss Brian McDermott - who occupied the manager's office at Elland Road at the time.  The forward only made 22 appearances for Leeds in an injury-hit time at the club.

Michael Duberry

In 1999, Duberry joined Leeds from Chelsea during a period when the Yorkshire club were competing in the upper echelons of the Premier League.  The defender was at the club throughout the financial problems that plagued them, and as such was part of the side that was relegated to the Championship in 2004.  Duberry made 77 appearances for Leeds in total, scoring four times.

The centre-back joined Steve Coppell’s Royals in January 2007 from Stoke City, midway through Reading’s first season in the top flight. Reading went on to finish in eighth place that season, our highest ever Premier League finish. Duberry made 55 appearances for the Royals in all competitions, leaving to sign for Wycombe Wanderers in July 2009.

Jimmy Kebe

Kebe was signed by the Royals in 2008 after being scouted by current Royals boss Brian McDermott.  The Malian attacking midfielder went on to have a big impact at Madejski Stadium and was an important part of Reading’s play-off push in the 2010/11 season that saw them eventually lose out at Wembley to Swansea City.  The following year Kebe continued his good form as the Royals, after an average start to the season, catapulted up the table with a stunning run of results to lift the Championship title.  In his 190 appearances for Reading, Kebe netted 31 times.

After signing for Crystal Palace in 2013, Kebe had a short stint on loan at Saturday’s opponents, only making nine appearances between January and March of that year.  During his time at Leeds, Kebe scored just once - that came in a 5-1 victory over West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.

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