Date of birth
Nephew to former footballers Cyrille Regis, David Regis and Otis Roberts and relative to ex-Olympic sprinter John Regis, Jason’s league career began at Wolves, but a move to Bristol Rovers saw him demonstrate his goal scoring capabilities; he notched 38 goals in 78 games during his time with the Pirates, before similarly prolific spells with West Brom and Wigan and a six-year Premier League career at Ewood Park.
Needing someone to spark a second half to the season surge that could catapult Reading into the promotion mix, the Royals handed Roberts a deal and the chemical reaction that followed was instantaneous and explosive.
58 minutes into his debut he scored from an initially saved penalty that was to earn Reading all three points against Bristol City at Madejski Stadium.
And he scored match-winning goals in his next two home appearances too – a 2-0 victory over Coventry and then the only goal in a live broadcast game against Eddie Howe’s Burnley.
Powerful and potent on the pitch, positive in every step he took off it, further finishes against Leicester, Barnsley and Southampton saw the Royals race to the summit and Roberts’ arrival was hailed as a masterstroke.
Injury hell cast a shadow over the end of his Royals career, with a hip problem keeping him side-lined for more than a year and a half.
So in March 2014, Roberts called time on a 17-year-long career that had seen him play in all four divisions and make some magical memories for five different clubs.
Few can argue that Jason Roberts proved an inspired signing for the Royals and made the difference between a play-off place and the title when the club needed a timely boost. The ‘Big Bad Wolf’ will live long in the memory at Reading Football Club.