Four of our Academy's brightest stars were flipped out of a charity pancake race on Shrove Tuesday following a controversial dead heat decision made by Royals fan and former X Factor contestant, Danyl Johnson!
The annual Launchpad pancake race is an eggstraordinary event that has been run on Broad Street for more than 20 years; teams from local businesses batter it out, egged on by cheering crowds in a relay race with frying pans in hand and fancy dress encouraged.
The coveted frying pan trophy seemed to be within our Academy boys' grasp as they coasted through the knock-out heats, tossing pancakes along Broad Street as they went.
Academy scholars Jeriel Dorsett, Josh Hewitt, Ethan Bristow and Kian Leavy were great ambassadors for the club at the town centre event and took defeat on the chin as eventual winners, MFG Group, pipped us to the finishing line in the semi-finals - following a dead heat as both teams crossed the line, judge Johnson handed our opponents a route into the Final.
Photo credit: s2s Photography
Without finishing line technology in place, calls for VAR from Academy Secretary (and coach for the day!) Steve Cooper continued as spectators looked around for town centre big screens, desperate for slow-motion replays, but the Royals were left scrambled in front of Mayor Debs Edwards and Sir John Madejski who supported the event.
However, most importantly, the quartet represented Reading Football Club excellently to place the Royals at the heart of a community event designed to raise funds and awareness of Launchpad - a charity which helps some of Reading’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people to turn their lives around and fulfil their potential.
Last year, Launchpad housed and helped 206 people, supporting more than 400 local people a year to prevent homelessness occurring in the first place. And the charity also runs a drop-in service is for anyone in Reading who needs housing or homelessness-related advice; last year more than 600 people came to their drop-in centre for advice, guidance and support.
Launchpad began as a soup kitchen in 1979 and used to be known as Reading Single Homeless Project until 2011. Today, they are called Launchpad Reading and are based in central Reading, providing accommodation, support and education to people in the town who need help.
Congratulations to MFG Group who beat Blandy & Blandy in the final race of the afternoon. And thank you to all those who came out to support a good cause in the town centre.
To support our fundraising efforts for Launchpad, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/readingfc-launchpad to make a donation.