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Shane Long

Born: 22nd January 1987 
Nationality: Ireland 
Position: Striker 
Royals first team debut: Reading 2-0 Leicester – 28/12/05 
Appearances: 120(+83) 
Goals: 54 

Long’s story:
A scholar at Cork City, Long was brought to our attention by the Reading Academy coach’s brother Pat Dolan who was manager at the time with Cork. 

When Eamonn’s brother was released of the hot seat, the two had a conversation that quickly came to the conclusion of bringing the Gortnahoe-born striker to Berkshire. 

Sure enough, on 7th June 2005, Long signed a two-year contract with the Royals alongside his Irish strike partner Kevin Doyle. 

He was introduced to the Reading faithful that December as a Substitute for Dave Kitson and scored his first Royals goal three days later – the equaliser in a 2-2 draw away to Derby. 

Coincidently his first league goal at Madejski Stadium was also against the Rams. In April, he notched for the first time as part of a brace in a 5-0 drumming by means of our already promoted Royals side. 

Long took centre stage in the 2010/11 season, recording 25 goals as the club were in touching distance of a top flight return. Sadly it was down to Swansea to deny us such a prize, a 4-2 defeat to Brendan Rodgers' side meant another year in the Championship for Reading. 

However the same fate wasn’t to transpire for Shane Long. The talismanic striker agreeing a three-year deal with West Brom, ending his six year stay with the Royals on 9th August 2011. 

Beyond the hoops:
Long marked his debut for the Baggies against Manchester United with a goal in the 37th minute. Slotting home past David De Gea, he found the net again four minutes into the next game away to Chelsea at the Bridge. 

He ended his debut season at the Hawthorns with eight goals and amplified that tally the following year with 11. 

Consistency would be the word given to Long’s form and it seems Hull City would have agreed with that too, bringing the Irishman in on a £7 million price tag. 

His time with the Tigers however was short lived, staying for only seven months before Southampton splashed the cash on the striker in August 2014. 

Scoring his first goal for the Saints away to Stoke at the Britannia, he went on to impress on the south coast and played a part in the EFL Cup Final as Southampton narrowly lost out on some major silverware to Manchester United in 2017. 

And he continues to prove a talisman for the Republic of Ireland, playing a part in Martin O'Neill's men qualifying and competing in Euro 2016.