A year ago today, all at Reading were devastated to learn that our Academy Manager Eamonn Dolan had passed away at the age of 48; lost to the world much too soon.
His influence is everywhere at Reading Football Club.
We dedicated our opening-day fixture to a celebration of his life, and we renamed our North Stand after him as a permanent reminder of the foundation he laid. His son Seamus led out the team at Madejski Stadium that day, just as he did in our final game at Wembley.
And how fitting that the last Reading player to make the net ripple at Wembley was Liam Kelly… the latest in the long line of first-teamers to come through our Academy. After netting his precise penalty, he pointed to the sky in tribute to Eamonn.
Eamonn’s smiling face has been part of our Fan Wall in the players’ tunnel at Madejski Stadium all season, and at Wembley too his presence was in the dressing room too.
And there are reminders everywhere of the impact he made on so many young footballers’ lives, as our Academy continues to go from strength to strength from the base he built.
Eamonn remains forever in our thoughts.