Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Madejski Men, Part 10 | From Taylor to Young

The final part of our extensive player profiles...

18 July 2018

We've reached the 10th and final week of our Madejski Men player profiles!

Interviews

"We grabbed the opportunity and went for it!"

18 July 2018

We may have reached the end of the alphabet, but there are still plenty of famous Royals to talk about in the final batch of player profiles...

(If you want to see all 245 Madejski Men profiled in full, just click here!)

Goalkeepers

Phil Whitehead (56 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Phil Whitehead was one of the first permanent fixtures in Reading sides that took to the turf at Madejski Stadium, as he played for the club between 1999 and 2003.

He started off as an Academy player for his hometown Halifax, before moving on to what’s now the Championship to play a number of games for Oxford, totalling 207 league appearances over the best part of four seasons.

When the club stumbled into some financial problems, Whitehead moved to join West Brom where he met up with manager John Gorman.

His spell with Reading started in the 1999/00 season when he followed Gorman and signed for a fee of £250,000 by manager Alan Pardew.

He was a major player in the 2001/02 season when Reading were promoted to Division One, keeping 17 clean sheets in 35 appearances.

During his spell at the club which lasted over three seasons, he never picked up a red card, and only saw yellow on four occasions.

He was troubled with injury during his time at Madejski Stadium and the arrival of Marcus Hahnemann in the 2002-03 season saw Whitehead drop to the bench.

After only appearing four times, he was sent out on loan to Tranmere in Division Two, and York City the season after. His career came to an end after he moved to non-league Tamworth on a free in 2003.

During the FA Cup Fourth Round replay against Telford, he suffered a major injury which was to end his football career. Although attempting a short-lived comeback with the side he retired at the age of 34.  

Stuart Taylor (1 app)
Peter van der Kwaak (1 app)
Jamie Young (0+1 apps)

Defenders

Ady Williams (75+1 Madejski Stadium appearances)

The versatile centre-half emerged from the club’s youth ranks to debut at the age of just 17 in October 1988, almost a decade before Madejski Stadium had even been born.

Before long, thanks to a brief stint in goal when he replaced the injured Steve Francis in 1991, Williams had worn every shirt number from 1 to 11 and the captain’s armband was his as, under Mark McGhee, Reading rose to within a whisker of Premier League football.

After a spell away from Reading with Wolves, Williams was brought back in on loan and soon made his Madejski Stadium debut - having already plied his trade while the Royals were at Elm Park.

The transfer was made permanent and, overcoming injury niggles, he helped to take his hometown club back into the second tier at Brentford in 2002. In a poll by the Royals fans, he was voted as one of the finest centre-backs as part of the club's best-ever XI, receiving 59.9% of the vote.   

Ady is still a regular at Madejski Stadium, adding to his 76 appearances as a player with a regular stint as co-presenter of BBC Radio Berkshire’s match day coverage.

Andrew Taylor (8 apps)
Matthew Upson (7 apps)
Adrian Viveash (36+1 apps)
Tennai Watson (2+2 apps)
Adrian Whitbread (17 apps)
Marcus Williams (3 apps)

Midfielders

Danny Williams (66+11 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Having started his career in his native Germany with Karlsruhe before moving to Freiburg, Danny Williams made the move to England to sign for the Royals five years ago.

A regular with Jurgen Klinsmann’s United States side (qualifying courtesy of a New York-born father), Williams made his 1899 Hoffenheim debut in September, grabbing an assist in a 4-0 beating of FSV Mainz.

He made 34 starts for the Bundesliga side before it was confirmed that the battle-hardy midfielder would join Reading, signing a four-year contract in June 2013.

Williams made his Royals debut on the opening day of the season as a substitute in our 2-1 win against Ipswich – named as one of US Soccer’s Young Male Athletes of 2012, Williams arrived at the club with great pedigree.

Despite injury interruptions during his time as a Royal, he made more than 150 appearances in all competitions during his four-year tenure at the club.

After Play-Off anguish at the hands of Huddersfield Town at the end of 2016-17, the Terriers made their move and signed the midfielder to bolster their ranks as they prepared for life in the top tier.

Jake Taylor (6+9 apps)
Aaron Tshibola (6+2 apps)
Joey van den Berg (31+1 apps)
Kevin Watson (25+15 apps)
Andrew Wright (0+1 apps)

Forwards

Yakubu (0+5 Madejski Stadium appearances)

While his stay in RG2 was a short one, the signing of prolific striker Yakubu gained the Royals national media attention.

Following successful spells in the top flight in England with Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Everton, scoring around 80 Premier League goals in the process, as well as goal-every-other-game loan spells at Leicester and Blackburn, Yakubu had earned himself a reputation is a proven goalscorer at the top of English football.

However, he left England to play for Guangzhou R&F in China before a short spell in Qatar with Al-Rayyan.

He joined the Royals on a short-term deal in 2015, adding extra firepower to the Reading strikeforce to finish a difficult season in the Championship.

'The Yak' notched one goal in seven league appearances as a Royal, but the former Nigeria international left Madejski Stadium upon the end of his contract at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

Tony Thorpe (3 apps)
Gunnar Thorvaldsson (0+1 apps)
Nathan Tyson (5+17 apps)
Matej Vydra (12+7 apps)
Martin Williams (30+8 apps)

 


Advertisement block