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The Lost Years of Reading FC

23 November 2016

A book about the story of football in the town of Reading...

The Lost Years of Reading FC is a book about the Royals in the early days of the club and how what happened in the amateur era shaped the club of the modern day.

The Lost Years reveals the true story of football in the town of Reading, from its uncertain beginnings in 1871/72.

Written by Roger Titford deputy Chairman of Supporters Trust at Reading, the 400 page hardback will be available at the Megastore and STAR Base, price £20 from the 23rd of November.

Part of the book describes the journey of a prominent Welsh international during his time at the club, a link that has strange parallels with the Royals side in the modern day…

One of the most important early Welsh internationals was a Reading player, says Roger Titford, author of the newly-published book. John Richard Morgan was a key member of the first ever trophy-winning Reading side.

He played in the Berks & Bucks Cup Final of 1879 and two weeks later for Wales against Scotland. Yet the international records give his birth-place, Swansea, as his club. Top Welsh football statistician Ian Garland, co-author of the authoritative Who’s Who of Welsh International Soccer Players, backs Titford’s claim and final ratification is awaited from the Welsh FA.

Morgan played full back, often alongside England international Edgar Field, in Reading’s most successful team up to 1879 but left after one season to teach in Derby. He later played for Notts County and was an international of real significance winning ten caps for Wales (in an era when caps were hard to come by), seven of them as captain.  He was captain of the first Wales side to beat England in 1881 and did it again in 1882, scoring in the process.

“In terms of impact he’s up there with Chris Gunter. I was surprised to find this link with Morgan had never been made,” says Roger. “For a brief period in our early days we were towards the top of the national pecking order. We even managed to borrow the Victorian equivalent of Wayne Rooney for one important cup-tie! In researching and writing The Lost Years of Reading FC I came up with quite a few findings that should make us re-assess the history of our amateur days. We were closer to both triumph and disaster than most fans today would imagine.”

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