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Royals who once wandered through The Valley

25 February 2016

Five Royals who have represented the Addicks

A first away game in just over three weeks sees Brian McDermott’s side make the trip to The Valley on Saturday to face Jose Riga’s Charlton side.

The hosts currently lie bottom of the table with 25 points, and a win on Saturday could take the Addicks to within four points of safety.  A win for Reading could see them climb as high as eleventh place.

Over the years, there have been many a Royal that has also donned the shirt of the Addicks during their career.  So with many to choose from, below we’ve selected and profiled five that have played for both…

Andy Hughes

Hughes’ footballing career began as a trainee with Oldham, before moving to Notts County and winning promotion to Division Two whilst on loan with the Meadow Lane side. He made the move permanent at the end of that season, and went on to make 104(+26) appearances before joining Reading in 2001 on a three-year deal.  Most readily deployed as a wide midfielder during four years at Madejski Stadium, Hughes helped Alan Pardew’s men find their way back into the second tier, and the season after his ‘never say die’ attitude helped the Royals to a play-off semi-final against Wolves.  He parted with Reading to join Norwich City in 2005, and three successful years, including a promotion at Leeds was to follow.  A season at Scunthorpe came before a move to Charlton, all prior to a step into coaching with Bolton in 2014. 

Yann Kermorgant

Kermorgant began his career in his native France, representing Stade Rennais at youth level, then Vannes, Chatellerault, Grenoble and finally Stade Remis, all prior to an arrival in England with Championship outfit Leicester City in August 2009. After a spell loan spell back in France with Ligue 1’s AC Arles-Avignon, the Frenchman put pen to paper on a two-year deal at The Valley, going on to make 82(+14) appearances and a League One promotion during his time. He became a prolific goal scorer with Bournemouth, joining the Cherries in 2014, and secured back to back 17 goal seasons and promotion to the Premier League in his final year on the south coast.  He now plies his trade for the Royals having signed an 18 month contract at Madejski Stadium in the 2015/16 winter transfer window.

Leroy Lita

An acquisition brought in by Steve Coppell for the start of that 2005/06 Championship season, Lita was an instinctive goal machine. He scored on his debut in one of only two defeats all season and played a vital part in a side that was to embark on a record-breaking run to title glory. He began his career on the books at Chelsea, but swapped London for Bristol City to join the Robins at the start of the 2002/03 season. 30 goals in his last year at Ashton Gate prompted the Royals to swoop for the striker’s signature, and the rest, as they say, is history. In his debut season at Madejski Stadium Lita scored 15 goals, and made that tally 32 in 73(+27) appearances by the end of his Reading days. It was during his time in blue and white hoops that he made 8 starts on loan for the Addicks, scoring three goals during his time at the Valley.    
Nicky Forster

Former Royals forward Forster, whose Reading career spanned 1999 to 2005, is lesser known for his days with Charlton, where he made 10 first-team appearances towards the latter stages of his playing career.  Spotted by Gillingham as an 18-year-old playing for Horley Town, he came through his trials and quickly established himself as a canny goalscorer for the Gills.  He arrived at Madejski Stadium via three years with Brentford and a further two with Birmingham – Forster’s six-year stint with the Royals began with a contribution that helped Reading clamber away from the Division Two relegation zone and achieve a top-half finish in 1999/2000.  After falling short of promotion in the play-offs the following season, he notched 18 goals as Reading earned a place in Division One in 2002.  After exiting Reading, he later represented Ipswich, Hull, Brighton (from which he moved on loan to the Addicks in 2010) and Brentford (again), before non-League spells with Lingfield and Dover.

Graeme Murty

We don’t often get to feature our former skipper in any ‘played for both’ sections – only York, Charlton and Southampton were the other clubs blessed with his services over a 17-year career; no other player has featured more often at Madejski Stadium.  Beginning with the Minstermen, where he had trained as a youth player, the Middlesbrough-born defender featured in some notable results for the side, including League Cup wins over Manchester United and Everton in successive seasons for the then-Division Two side.  Joining Reading in 1998, he established himself as an integral squad member, and then became captain.  In over a decade with Reading, he scored just twice from right-back – the first was an opener in what would be an eventual 3-1 defeat at home against Bristol City; the second was a match-winning penalty against QPR on the final day of the 2005/06 season, ensuring that Reading would set a record 106-point haul from that incredible season.  The defender joined Charlton on loan in the winter window in 2009 in order to get some game-time, before spending the last year of his career with Southampton.  339 of his 500 professional club games came in Reading colours and eight in those of Charlton; he also represented Scotland on four occasions.

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