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Royals that have had their own Millers tale

22 February 2016

Five Royals who have also played for Rotherham

Tuesday evening sees the last of four straight home games in a row for Brian McDermott’s side at Madejski Stadium. The newly-appointed Neil Warnock and his Rotherham side will make the trip down south, and they currently lie 22nd in the table, 11 points behind the Royals.

Ahead of our 'TFI Tuesday' clash, we take a look at five former Millers who have also donned a hooped shirt for the Royals during their career.  With many not making the profiles below, here a just a select few…

Martin Butler

The Wordsley-born striker began his career at Walsall, a side he would go on to play against in blue and white hoops in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium years later. It was during three years with Cambridge United that Martin really began to polish his goalscoring boots, netting 41 goals in 101 starts. He swapped the Abbey Stadium for Madejski Stadium in February 2000, and by the end of this first season in Berkshire, he had helped Alan Pardew’s men reach the Second Division play-off final and score against his former club at the Millennium Stadium, only to suffer the heartbreak of a 3-2 extra-time defeat. He did clinch promotion when the Royals drew at Brentford in April 2002, and went on to make 98(+20) appearances before joining Rotherham in 2003, all prior to a move back to the Saddlers three years later in July 2006.      

Mick Gooding

A Reading legend with over 300 league appearances under his belt, Mick Gooding came to Berkshire in 1989 following a season long spell at Molineux with Wolves. However it was ten years earlier that he made his impact with Rotherham. Joining them professionally in 1979, he went on to make 102 league appearances for the Millers before moving to Chesterfield for the duration of the 1982/83 season. He then re-joined the Millmoor side the year after, and made a further 187(+7) league appearances before moves to Peterborough and Wolves. Reading bound, some of his highlights include being appointed player-manager alongside Jimmy Quinn in 1994, and successfully navigating the side to a second place finish in the First Division that season, coming within touching distance of the Premier League. He left to join Southend in 1998 before retiring from football not long after, but his is still a regular at Madejski Stadium on match-days up in the gantry as part of BBC Radio Berkshire's commentary team. 

Shaun Goater

‘Feed the Goat and he will score.’ That’s exactly what a Reading side managed by Steve Coppell did during the 2003-05 seasons. Off the field, he was the nicest of guys. Handed an honorary MBE in 2003 for his charity work, Shaun Goater Day is a national holiday every June in his native Bermuda. On the pitch, the Manchester United trainee scored 86 goals for Rotherham United before 45 more in less than two full seasons with Bristol City. He signed for Manchester City in 1998, and went on to score 21 times in his first full season as his new side managed a swift return to the second tier. 29 goals the following season returned Manchester City to the Premier League at the start of the new millennium, and as City departed their old ground, Goater left the north-west to pen a deal with the Royals. He scored his 200th career goal whilst donning the blue and white hoops, making a total of 37(+11) appearances before the end of his stay.     

Adam Le Fondre

A prolific goal scorer with Stockport and Rochdale, Le Fondre continued his fine form at Rotherham netting 54 times in 90(+6) league appearances – that’s a strike rate of a goal in every 160 minutes of football! 30 goals in his debut season as a Miller lead the club to a spot in the League Two play-off final, then despite missing out on promotion, the Stockport-born forward continued to find the back of the net on a regular basis, netting a further 24 times the subsequent season. Reading acquired Le Fondre’s signature in August 2011, and a fan favourite among supporters; who could forget his goals away at Southampton, and brace against Newcastle a Chelsea in the Premier League, and hat-tricks in successive home games against Bolton and Blackpool! After his 59(+51) appearances, he went on to sign for Cardiff City in May 2014, and had loan spells with Bolton Wanderers and Wolves, a club where he still plies his trade until the end of the current season.       

Stephen Quinn

A Republic of Ireland international and FA Cup runner-up, Quinn began his footballing career in the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers before moving to England to sign for Sheffield United in 2005. He made his debut for the Blades against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup prior to joining MK Dons on loan for the remainder of the first half of that season. In January he signed another loan deal, this time with Rotherham, and made 16 starts for the Millers before returning to Bramall Lane at the end of the campaign. Quinn progressed to have a very successful spell with Hull City from 2012, achieving promotion to the Premier League and runners-up in the FA Cup to Arsenal to end the 2013/14 season. He became a Royal in the 2015 summer transfer window, and made his debut for Reading against Birmingham on the opening day of the season. So far Quinn has made 19 starts in blue and white hoops, and Brian McDermott could hand the midfielder his 20th come kick-off with Rotherham on Tuesday evening.

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