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Wearing both sets of hoops...

22 April 2016

A selection of former Reading men who played for QPR...

On Saturday the Royals visit Queens Park Rangers, who sit 12th in the Sky Bet Championship. Ahead of the weekend's clash in West London, we look back at five players that have pulled on the blue and white hoops for both clubs....

Brian Bedford

Brian Bedford started his career with the Royals back in 1954 at the age of 21. At the time Reading were in Division Three South, and Bedford made just three appearances for the Royals that season, but he was spotted by Southampton manager Ted Bates, leaving for the Saints in July 1955.

It wasn’t until 1959 that Bedford moved to QPR when he was signed by Rangers manager Alec Stock for £750. The forward went onto score 180 goals for QPR to become the club's second highest goal scorer - he featured in 258 league appearances for Rangers.

Jamie Cureton
 
Fondly remembered by the Royals fans, Cureton even had a star named after him by Reading’s supporters’ trust. Cureton joined the Royals in 2000 from Bristol Rovers, and was prolific for the club - as he has been for many clubs throughout a long career. He formed a formidable partnership with Martin Butler as he went onto score 30 goals in his first season with Reading. The following year he scored the goal to see Reading promoted to Nationwide Division One.
 
In 2004, following a difficult spell with South Korean side Busan I'Cons, Cureton moved to QPR that January. The striker spent a season and a half with the West London club only and netted seven times in 46 appearances for Rangers before moving to League One outfit Swindon Town in 2005.  Formerly an England youth international, at the age of 40, he is still going strong - nine goals to date this term for Dagenham & Redbridge makes him the Daggers' leading scorer.

Michael Meaker

Midfielder Michael Meaker started his career at Loftus Road with then-Division One QPR and went onto play in the Premier League with the club. He made 40 appearances for Rangers over five seasons and also had a loan spell with Plymouth Argyle in that time.

In July 1995 Meaker joined Reading from the West London club, just a couple of months after the Royals heart-breaking play-off final defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers at Wembley. Meaker stayed with the Royals until 1998 when the club were relegated to Division Two. The midfielder made 73 appearances for Reading, scoring on three occasions.

Simon Osborn

Simon Osborn joined the Royals at the beginning of their memorable 1994-95 season as the club aimed to win back-to-back promotions and make it into the top flight for the first time in their history. The midfielder featured heavily for the Royals that season by making 32 league appearances for the club; they went onto finish second in the division and missed out on promotion in the play-off final.

Osborn left Berkshire at the end of that season after Ray Wilkins' QPR paid the Royals for his services. Osborn played just 12 times for Rangers as they were relegated from the Premiership, before signing for Wolves.

Tony Thorpe

In 1998 Tony Thorpe joined the Royals for a short stint on loan at the club. The Royals were in Division Two at the time and the striker only made six appearances for Reading, scoring once. It was not long until he was called back to Bristol City and then loaned out to Luton Town.

In 2003 Thorpe joined QPR from Luton after signing permanently for the club in 2002. At the time Rangers were in Division Two and 10 goals from Thorpe in his first season at the club helped fire the West London club into the Championship.  Two years later, Thorpe left the club to join Swindon Town where he linked up with fellow ex-Royal Jamie Cureton.

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