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Simon Church

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Biography

Date of birth

10/12/1988

Signed

01/07/2007

Country

Wales

Born in Buckinghamshire, Church began his youth career when he joined his hometown club Wycombe Wanderers in their Centre of Excellence aged nine.

It was five years later that he came to Reading’s attention, aged 14 he joined our Academy and fit straight into the reserve team.

He then signed professionally on in July 2007, but was unable to slip into the first team due to stiff competition from bargain-buy Dave Kitson and the Irish international double act of Kevin Doyle and Shane Long.

Several loan spells were to follow, starting with half a season at Crewe Alexandra then the rest spent with League One companions Yeovil.

Church spent the beginning of the 2008 campaign back with his hometown club Wycombe before returning briefly to Berkshire to make his Reading first team debut as a substitute in our FA Cup tie away to Cardiff.

He was again sent out on loan to a League One club in the form of Leyton Orient, this time for the remainder of the season.

He did, however, return to the Royals in time to make his first start of his career. It came at Madejski Stadium in the second leg of a Play-off match against Burnley, the Welshman partnering Shane Long upfront in place of an injured Kevin Doyle.

This was to be the catalyst for Church’s first team return, playing as a regular in the side for the next three seasons. The departure of Doyle and Kitson was music to his ears as the 6ft frontman made 64(+56) appearances over the rest of his stay and found the net 24 times.

His last goal for the club came in front of the Madejski faithful in March 2012 as he scored one of three goals that afternoon in a season where the Royals would be crowned Champions in May for only the second time in the clubs history.

Church’s only Hooped appearance in the subsequent season was as a 93rd substitute in a stunning Capital One tie against Arsenal at the Madejski.

He was sent out on a months-loan to Championship side Huddersfield in late November, making seven appearances for the Terriers before returning to the Royals on 29th December.

He was released by the club at the end of that season, going on to join Charlton Athletic on a two year deal.

When the Addicks welcomed Reading at The Valley in March 2015, Church got on the score-sheet against his old side in what turned out to be the difference between the two teams, 3-2 the final score.            

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