Five who have played for both Reading and Burnley
This Saturday sees the second of four home games in a row at Madejski Stadium, with Sean Dyche’s inform Burnley side the visitors.
Looking back at team sheets of the past, there are several Royals who have also represented the Turf Moor side during their career. Ahead of our clash this weekend, we have a look at five of those men who have played for both…
A youth on the international stage with Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21s, Chalobah’s spell with Burnley came via a loan spell at the start of the 2014/15 season. An Academy product of Chelsea’s, he signed a short term loan with then-Premier League Clarets, making his debut against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. He returned to Stamford Bridge in January, but was on the move again soon after, signing a loan deal for the remainder of the season with the Royals. He debuted at Madejski Stadium against Sheffield Wednesday, scoring what can only be described as a goal of the season contender – latching onto Garath McCleary’s centre and turning in goalwards via the top left corner. He made 20 starts for Reading including against Arsenal at Wembley, before returning to Chelsea at the end of the season.
Reliable, robust in the tackle, and with a flair for the long-range spectacular, ‘Bairdinho’ began his career as a youth with Southampton in 1998. He signed on professional terms in 2001, and represented the Saints in their 2003 FA Cup final against Arsenal. The Northern Ireland international made 79 appearances at the south coast before choosing to join Fulham for the 2007/08 Premier League season. A centurion at Craven Cottage, he played 165 times for the West London club under the stewardship of four different managers, and also stepped out in the 2010 Europa League final against Atletico Madrid. He made nine appearances for Reading during the start of the 2013/14 season before moving on to a spell with Burnley to end that Championship campaign. He has since gone on to play his football for West Brom and now currently Derby County.
On the back of that record breaking 106 season, Royals boss Steve Coppell delved into the transfer market to sign Andre Bikey on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow, and the Cameroon international went on to make 15 Premier League appearances that season before signing on a permanent basis the following summer. Bikey made 55(+18) appearances it total for our hooped outfit before joining Owen Coyle at Burnley for the 2009/10 Premier League season. He debuted for the Clarets against Manchester United, and spent the next three seasons at Turf Moor before moving to join Middlesbrough in September 2012, taking the number three shirt. After his spell at the Riverside, he went on to represent Panetolikos for a season, and then moved back to England with Charlton, appearing 34 times before expiry of his contract at the start of the 2015/16 season.
Coming through the ranks at Grimsby Town, Oster signed for Burnley in 2005 after spending his previous years playing top flight football for Everton and Sunderland. His spell with Burnley only lasted 14(+4) appearances before Steve Coppell signed the Lincolnshire-born midfielder for the Royals ranks in the summer of 2005. Oster made 41 appearances that season across the league and cup, scoring in the 5-0 home drubbing of Derby County as the Royals went on to lift the title as early as April Fool’s Day. Following Reading’s relegation from the Premier League in 2007/08, he joined Sean O'Driscoll’s Doncaster in August 2009 after a brief spell at Selhurst Park the season before. He made over 100 starts for the Rovers prior to departing the Keepmoat Stadium in 2012 upon the finish of his contract.
In truth, Glen Little perhaps never cut the same shape as the physique now associated with a modern day footballer – but as the trickiest of wingers, Wimbledon-born Little became a loveable and much-admired midfielder during his four or five years as a Royal. Having secured promotion to Division One with Burnley during his seven year stay as a Claret, Little went one step further and secured status as a Premier League footballer after a record-breaking 106 point season. Chipping in with goals at Brighton, Preston, Plymouth and Hull, he picked up 15 assists in that remarkable campaign and ‘Blakey’ became a cult hero with those in Reading. He parted the club in 2008, moving on to a spell with Portsmouth in the top flight, but donned the blue and white hoops one last time during a brief loan spell towards the end of the 2008/09 season.