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Madejski Men, Part 9 | From Robson-Kanu to Tanner

"Shorey for England..."

11 July 2018

We've reached the penultimate instalment of our series of Madejski Men, in which we've profiled every single player to step over the white line in the name of the Royals in RG2!

On the day of England's biggest game for a generation, it's only fair that we profile the first Royal to pull on the Three Lions while playing at Madejski Stadium...

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

Goalkeepers

Graham Stack (6 Madejski Stadium appearances)

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In profile: Beşiktaş

11 July 2018

Just the one goalkeeper this week, but Graham Stack served as a more than capable deputy to Marcus Hahnemann as we played our famous 2005-06 season.

In fact, Stack lined up against the Royals just a fortnight ago as we played our first pre-season friendly against Eastleigh!

After coming through the youth system at Arsenal and a loan spell over in Belgium with Beveren, he joined the Royals on loan in the summer of 2005.

Stack played several times in the cup competitions during his time as a Royal, but had to eventually move elsewhere to gain regular first team football.

After several other loan spells, Stack found his feet and made more than a century of appearances for Barnet between 2012 and 2016.

He now plays for Eastleigh in the National League, where he made almost 30 appearances last season. 

Defenders

Nicky Shorey (115+2 Madejski Stadium appearances)

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11 July 2018

Despite having Superman for company in Madejski Men this week, Nicky Shorey gets the nod as Madejski Stadium's second-most 'capped' player. Having made his first team debut for Leyton Orient, then in the fourth tier, Reading moved for the full-back's signature in 2001 - and he would go on to make history with the Royals.

Seven years, two promotions, almost 300 appearances and two full England caps later, Shorey forged his name as one of the Royals' best ever defenders.

The combination of his attacking intent, wicked set-piece taking and defensive ability made Shorey into a prized asset for the Royals. Such was the clamour to see him wearing the Three Lions, Reading fans were regularly heard chanting "Shorey for England" from the stands at Madejski Stadium.

Their wish was granted after Shorey played a successful England 'B' international. He also had the honour of starting for England in the very first game at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007, in what was also his first senior England cap.

After a move to Aston Villa that limited his appearances, Shorey regained regular football at West Bromwich Albion before a return to the Royals after our promotion to the Premier League in 2012.

He shared left-back duties with Ian Harte as the Royals tried to stay in the top tier, before moving down the leagues towards the end of his career. 

A true club legend, in every sense.

Liam Rosenior (33+1 apps)
Alex Smith (9+1 apps)
Ibrahima Sonko (67+2 apps)

Midfielders

Gylfi Sigurðsson (24+4 Madejski Stadium appearances)

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11 July 2018

Iceland's talisman at the World Cup, key man at the Euros and one of Everton's key playmakers started it all right here at Reading!

Brought into our Academy as a scholar in 2005, Sigurðsson was quickly identified as a prodigious talent while playing for our youth and reserve teams, so he signed professional terms with the Royals in 2007.

He didn't have to wait long to get his name known around the club, making waves in the Royals' FA Cup run that saw the Icelander stroke home a penalty at Anfield, before scoring late on to dump Burnley out of the competition in the Second Round.

Momentum was building and twice West Brom led the Royals in a Fifth Round replay at the Hawthorns, but twice Reading levelled and it took an extra time strike from Sigurdsson to earn McDermott’s men a place in the quarter-finals.

Unsurprisingly named Player of the Season, he reached 20 goals for the campaign when he scored in our final day 4-1 win over Preston and had become an Iceland international in the process, but with no top six spot secured, the midfielder was sold for a club record fee to enable the squad to properly rebuild.

Even though he is no longer a Royal, his name is still spoken of fondly around RG2 and seen as a shining light to come out of our Academy. 

Tony Rougier (23+27 apps)
John Salako (49+10 apps)
Ki-hyeon Seol (16+3 apps)
Steve Sidwell (90+3 apps)
Neil Smith (23+18 apps)
Jack Stacey (0+3 apps)
John Swift (27+7 apps)
Jay Tabb (37+13 apps)
Craig Tanner (0+2 apps)

Forwards

Hal Robson-Kanu (65+51 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Another of the bright lights to come out of Reading's Academy, Robson-Kanu earned a reputation of stepping up to big occasions here at Madejski Stadium.

After being almost ever-present as the club earned promotion to the Premier League, the Wales international scored against some of the biggest teams in the country in the name of the Royals. 

Able to operate in a wide midfield position or up front, he proved an integral part of first team plans at Madejski Stadium, having first broken into the senior side as part of Steve Coppell’s squad that travelled to the Peace Cup in South Korea in the summer of 2007.

Loan spells at Southend and Swindon came before his Madejski Stadium bow on the opening day of the 2009-10 season against Nottingham Forest.

After almost 10 years with the club in total, he departed for West Bromwich Albion in 2016 - where he is likely to line up against the Royals in the Championship this season.

Orlando Sa (9+3 apps)
Dominic Samuel (3 apps)
Mass Sarr (13+13 apps)
Basir Savage (4+4 apps)
Keith Scott (12+10 apps)
Billy Sharp (4+1 apps)
Sam Smith (4+2 apps)


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