‘I’ve always dreamed of scoring a Cup hat-trick for Reading and this is probably as near as I’m ever going to get now,’ claimed life-long fan Roger Titford.
Super-sleuthing by the STAR Board member, ably assisted by Nigel Meek and Professor James Reade of University of Reading, has seen three goals added to the club’s FA Cup tally by the official keeper of FA Cup records.
In the competition’s First Qualifying Round in October 1893, Reading were drawn at home to Warmley (a club from the Bristol area). The referee Mr Jope, from Birmingham, arrived at our Caversham ground late and so the kick-off was delayed.
By half-time the Biscuitmen were 3-0 up with goals from Titcombe (2) and Frewin. It would seem that this scoreline was relayed by telegraph or telephone to the national press. As it arrived later than expected due to the kick off delay it was taken to be the final score. And 3-0 is what went into the official records.
But there was still the second half to play for! Reading added three more from George, Hirons and Read so the final score was 6-0, as reported in the local press - but not in the official record.
‘I’d like to be able to claim those three second-half goals for myself,’ said Titford. ‘And if Titcombe had scored them then I might have got away with it!’
Due to Covid and furlough it may take a little while before the FA’s official website is updated.
Reading went on to knock out Newbury, Southampton and Swindon thus reaching the last 32, the equivalent of today’s FA Cup 4th Round.
This was a great achievement for an amateur club, as we were then. Unfortunately the draw pitted us away from home against the most famous professional side in the world at that time, Preston North End, who won the tie 18-0! No amount of record-checking is going to overturn that one.