The opening of a newly-named stand ahead of match dedicated to DolanThis weekend, as we kick off the season with a home fixture against Preston North End, the first whistle will signal the start of a brand new era under Jaap Stam. But amidst all the excitement surrounding the first game of the new campaign, one man’s impact on our club will remain at the forefront of all our minds.
Saturday’s match will be dedicated to one of our own…Eamonn Dolan.
Before a ball has even been kicked, we will officially open the newly-named Eamonn Dolan Stand at 1.30pm as the turnstiles open for the first time in 2016-17.
The stand itself will have a very special new look to suit its new name and Co-Chairman Sir John Madejski will join members of Eamonn’s family to unveil a plaque, dedicating one side of our stadium to a man who dedicated so much time and hard work to Reading Football Club.
Around the ground, volunteers will be collecting for ‘Action on Bladder Cancer’, while the matchday programme will include just a cross-section of the hundreds of tributes and messages left in the book of condolence just outside main reception here at Madejski Stadium over the last couple of months.
Inside the bowl, we will be featuring footage of some of Eamonn's greatest achievements whilst at Reading Football Club - including our dramatic FA Youth Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool and the two-legged U21s' victory against Manchester City which saw us lift the Premier League Cup at Madejski Stadium. And be sure to watch the big screen to see a pre-match video compilation dedicated to Eamonn’s life and career as 3pm draws near.
As kick-off approaches, a number of Academy players will form a guard of honour for the teams as they walk out onto the pitch for the first time, Jaap Stam’s side wearing black armbands in memory of a great man.
We would also like to invite both home and away fans to join us in a minute’s applause in Eamonn’s honour before kick-off.
Be here to celebrate Eamonn! He was a man who shared your passion for this football club and who inspired all he met.