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Madejski Men, Part 2 | From Böðvarsson to Cox...

The next addition to our players’ profiles…

23 May 2018

Almost two decades have passed since Madejski Stadium first become the new home of the Royals. And in that time, 245 different individuals have worn the blue and white for a competitive fixture at RG2.

As we celebrate 20 years at our home, we have profiled every single person who has stepped over the white line in the name of the Royal cause since our 3-0 win over Luton Town back in 1998...

In the second edition of our 10-part series, we profile everyone from Böðvarsson to Cox – alphabetically speaking, that is!

If you would like to see the full list of Madejski Men and read the story of each player's Reading career, click here.

Goalkeepers

Jonathan Bond (6 Madejski Stadium appearances)

There’s only one goalkeeper to mention who falls between the two bookends in this second part of our Madejski Men feature… that’s Jonathan Bond, who left RG2 this summer with six appearances on home turf under his belt.

Opportunities were limited for the stopper – partly because he joined in 2015, the same summer as Ali Al-Habsi, who would go on to be named Player of the Season in each of his two years at the club.

The goalkeeping duo tussled for the number-1 jersey in the first half of the campaign; in his half-a-dozen Madejski Stadium appearances, Bond kept clean sheets on three occasions, including a goalless draw against Leeds United in the first home outing of the season.

But, after being permanently displaced by his Omani rival for the jersey, he spent spells out on loan with Gillingham and then Peterborough.

Defenders

Wayne Bridge (7+1 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Full-back Wayne Bridge didn’t have the most appearances at Madejski Stadium under his belt of those available… but arrived with one of the bigger pedigrees.

Before making the switch to RG2 in 2013, he already had a Premier League winner’s medal from his time at Chelsea, he had helped Man City to their first qualification for the Champions League in its current format, and earned 36 England caps.

His single season as a Royal saw us miss out on a play-off place on the final day – a draw against Burnley wasn’t quite enough to get us over the line, when a win would have been enough.  That would be the final game of his professional career; he retired a few days later.

Martyn Booty (4+1 apps)
Mark Bowen (1 app)
Steve Brown (23 apps)
Daniel Carriço (1+1 apps)
Chris Casper (26 apps)
Neil Clement (7 apps)
Matthew Connolly (2 apps)
Jake Cooper (21+5 apps)

Midfielders

Darren Caskey (73+5 Madejski Stadium appearances)

A total of 78 appearances in the hooped shirt on home turf during five years as a Royal made him something of a fan favourite from our third-tier days; sadly, his final involvement was as an unused sub at the Millennium Stadium in 2001, when Walsall were promoted at our expense.

Joining the Royals from Tottenham Hotspur in 1996, he would quickly establish himself in the senior side – and also in front of goal.

In the maiden Madejski Stadium campaign in 1998/99, he became the fourth player to net a competitive goal at the new ground – one of six he would net that year.  And the following year, he notched 10 at home and 23 overall, leading the top scorers’ charts from midfield.

His playing career took him to Notts County, Bristol City and Peterborough, as well as a number of non-League clubs.

Grant Brebner (23+1 apps)
Paul Brooker (14+9 apps)
Luke Chadwick (8+1 apps)
Nathaniel Chalobah (10 apps)
Kalifa Cisse (24+14 apps)
Pelle Clement (9+5 apps)
Bobby Convey (38+12 apps)

Forwards

Martin Butler (47+11 Madejski Stadium appearances)

Forward Martin Butler regularly had his name announced as a goalscorer on the Madejski Stadium PA system on several occasions – he began life as a Royal with real intent.

He made the move from Cambridge at the end of the 1999/2000 campaign… and the next year, Butler notched an incredible 28 goals in all competitions.  17 of those were at home, 10 were away, and one was in Cardiff – he put the Royals 2-1 up in extra-time against Walsall in the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium, but the Saddlers overturned the result.

Butler was part of a side that earned promotion the next season – sadly for the striker, it wasn’t in the happiest of circumstances… in a November-evening fixture with Wrexham, he came away from a challenge with a broken ankle, a broken fibula and ligament damage and missed a bulk of the campaign.

The forward left the Royals in 2003, and went on to represent Rotherham, Walsall and Grimsby amongst others.

Jón Daði Böðvarsson (11+8 apps)
Michael Branch (0+1 apps)
Paul Brayson (9+15 apps)
Simon Church (31+29 apps)
Simon Cox (21+11 apps)


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