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Representing Royals and Terriers – an exclusive few…

5 January 2016

4 on the books of both Reading and Huddersfield

There are probably few clubs in the Championship with which we have fewer links that Saturday’s opponents Huddersfield Town.

The Terriers are once against playing host in the FA Cup third round – there aren’t many names that have been on either side of the teamsheet down the years.

We look at 4 players that have made contributions of varying sizes for both Reading and Huddersfield …

Oliver Norwood

24-year-old string-puller Norwood has been a Royals representative since the summer of 2014, having moved directly to Madejski Stadium from former club Huddersfield.  The Burnley-born man came through Manchester United’s Academy and spent loan spells with Carlisle, Scunthorpe and Coventry before making the John Smith’s Stadium his second permanent home in 2012.  The midfielder represented the Terriers in their defeat at Madejski Stadium in the 2013/14 campaign, as well helping them to a draw in the return fixture.  He was voted as our Player of the Month in December.

Simon Church

Royals Academy graduate Simon Church made over a century of league appearances for the Royals, but also made five loan moves away from Madejski Stadium over the course of a decade with the club.  Turning pro in 2007, he joined up with Crewe, Yeovil, Wycombe and Leyton Orient during his early years – and then in 2012, he made Huddersfield his final stint out on loan.  The striker, who had a habit of popping up with late goals at Reading, netted just once in his seven appearances as a Terrier – that too was in the 90th minute, but wasn’t enough to rescue a result in a 2-1 defeat against Brighton.  He left for Charlton in 2013, and joined MK Dons last summer.

Benik Afobe

Reading and Huddersfield were two clubs that benefitted from the services of striker Afobe when he was loaned away from Arsenal as a youngster.  He signed professional terms with the Gunners in 2010, and later that year he was plying his trade as a pro for the first time with Huddersfield.  The forward netted eight goals in his 35 appearances in a Huddersfield shirt.  The striker’s spell with Reading was less prolific – he only played a total of 90 minutes, spread over three games – albeit all in wins against Blackpool, West Ham and Southampton in 2012.  Further stints away from the Emirates followed, at Bolton, Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons, and he became a Wolves player last summer.

Steve Francis

Probably the one player that is most closely associated with the two clubs, goalkeeper Steve Francis six years apiece at Reading and Huddersfield.  The Billericay-born stopper began his career with Chelsea, he moved to Elm Park in 1987 – a year after lifting the inaugural Full Members Cup with the Blues.  Reading forked out £15,000 for his services – he went on to make over 250 appearances in a Royals shirt, including being named Player of the Year, before making a switch to West Yorkshire in 1993.  Francis went on to play over 200 games for the Terriers, before a short spell with Northampton and eventually hanging up his gloves.  The first of his three games for the Cobblers saw him keep a clean-sheet in a 1-0 win against Reading at Madejski Stadium.

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