Date of birth
Republic of Ireland
Stephen Hunt’s English football career began as a trainee at Crystal Palace, but after not making the impact in the first team that was needed, he had trials with Dundee United before leaving to join Brentford in 2001.
This spell proved to be rather successful for Hunt and four years later he had earned himself a move to a Championship outfit in Reading.
One of the Irish imports recruited by the Royals in the summer of 2005, the lively left winger found first team starts hard to come by as Bobby Convey featured in a side that was romping the league.
But Hunt knew Steve Coppell had faith in his ability, playing regularly for the Royals manager during a 136-game spell with Brentford and scoring 25 goals for the Bees along the way.
And as Reading surprised everyone and stormed up the Premier League table in 2006/07, Hunt’s influence in the side grew and grew.
Highlights must include getting one of the six the club scored against West Ham on New Year’s Day at Madejski stadium in 2007, grabbing the winner against Fulham to keep the challenge for a European place on track, and scoring from the spot to inflict Liverpool’s first league defeat of the following season – a campaign in which Hunt was named the club’s ‘Player of the Season’ primarily for the unbridled determination and passion he displayed in a season that ultimately ended in relegation.
He also scored twice at White Hart Lane in an FA Cup draw against Spurs, as well as the only goal against Everton that gave the Royals our first win of that second top flight campaign and, although he stuck with Reading to play alongside his younger brother in the Championship the following season, Hunt returned to the Premier League with Hull City in the summer of 2009 before moves to Wolves and recently Ipswich Town, joining the Tractor Boys not long after another former Royal Jay Tabb.