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Mikele Leigertwood

Midfielder

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Biography

Date of birth

12/11/1982

Signed

23/11/2010

Country

Antigua and Barbuda

A young Leigertwood went to school with former skipper Jobi McAnuff and began his career alongside his good friend at Wimbledon.

The pair’s footballing footsteps followed similar paths to Crystal Palace too, before the Enfield-born midfield maestro joined Premier League-bound Sheffield United in 2006 and then QPR in 2007.

He made 131 appearances for the London club in the league, scoring 12 goals from the middle of the park – proving he was worth the £900,000 price tag.

He arrived at Reading on loan from Neil Warnock’s Rangers title-bound side in 2010 and he produced commanding display after commanding display in the centre for Brian McDermott’s side, leading them to Wembley and a Play-off final against Swansea before signing a permanent deal at Madejski Stadium that June.

That signature proved so valuable. Goals against Southampton, Leicester City, Blackpool and the fourth at Upton Park paled into insignificance; it was Leigertwood who hooked home Ian Harte’s set piece to edge the Royals into the lead against Nottingham Forest on a Tuesday night in mid-April – a strike that would go down in Reading Football Club folklore.

Promotion was secured with that victory and a pitch invasion swept the match-winner off his feet and carried him back down the tunnel, a triumphant hero.

The Premier League proved a stern test for Leigertwood and the rest of the Royals’ squad, and ankle surgery in the summer would side-line the influential midfielder for the following season.

In May 2014, the powerhouse midfielder was released by the club, but fans will always remember his trademark ‘Ledgehammer’ strikes flying into top corners.  

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