Sunday, 28 May 2017

Madejski Stadium - Reading

Reading - Madejski Stadium

Reading Football Club
Madejski Stadium
Bennett Road


  • Reading Football Club were formed on Christmas Day in 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms that was organised by future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham.
  • Early years, they played their games at Reading Recreation Ground, Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground before switching to professional football in 1895.
  • The club moved to Elm Park in 1896. They played there from 1896 to 1998, with the most capacity holding 33,000 but towards closure, 14,800.
  • Reading's 1st title win as a club was in 1926 when they won the 3rd Division South. They won the title on 57 points from 42 games, beating Plymouth Argyle to the title by a point.
  • Reading have reached the FA Cup Semi Finals twice. Both in 1927, losing to Cardiff City 3-0 and more recently in 2015 to Arsenal who were eventual FA Cup winners, losing in Extra Time.
  • The club moved to the Madejski Stadium in 1998. The ground holds just over 24,000 and cost £50m.
  • Reading's main rivals are Aldershot Town. Although the 2 clubs haven't played each other since Aldershot went out of business in 1992, it does remain to be seen whether that rivalry will continue. Other rivalries with The Royals include Oxford United and Swindon Town.
  • Reading are known as The Royals. This is because due to Reading's location which is the Royal County of Berkshire. They were also known as The Biscuitmen as one stage due to the town's association with Huntley and Palmer's.
  • Famous fans of the Royals include Who want's to be a Millionaire presenter Chris Tarrant, Ricky Gervais, Kate Winslet and others.


VISIT 1: Reading 5-2 Huddersfield Town 19/1/16 (FA Cup)
VISIT 2: Reading 2-0 Gillingham 8/8/17 (Carabao Cup 1st Round)


Reading 5-2 Huddersfield Town
Tuesday 19th January 2016
FA Cup Replay

My only visit to The Madejski so far was on a cold Tuesday night FA Cup replay game against Huddersfield. Funnily enough I was thinking about going to Reading as I noticed they've got a few Tuesday night games coming up, the only put off was that if I went by train, I would have to leave the game about 15 minutes early in order to get my train home and in time to get home. Anyway before the game, my dad told me he had a surprise for me as it's my birthday coming up and that we would be going on the train on the 19th January, so I decided to have a look at what fixtures were on, and there was only 2 grounds in the FA Cup I hadn't been to which were part of the 92. Bolton, which I didn't think it would be as it's quite far to travel and of course Reading. So then I had a look at the trains, and decided to advise to my dad that probably the best way to get to Reading was drive. So anyway, we left home around 4 and stopped off at Fleet Services and got a quick bite to eat at McDonalds, then headed off again. Got to The Madejski just before 7 before heading in the ground. Parked the car at the car park and cost 8 quid to park, which wasn't too bad I suppose. Anyway which I did enjoy about Reading was it was unreserved seating despite being in the home end and it was only a fiver for under 24's which was really impressive. Sat in our seats with about half an hour to go. Was really impressed also with the Huddersfield fans which travelled down all from Yorkshire until Reading got back in the game and then went fairly quiet from then onwards to be fair. 5-2 did flatter Reading in the end, it did help with Huddersfield having 10 men but was nice to see 7 goals. The Madejski Stadium is an all seater stadium, Reading have been playing at The Madejski since 1998 after leaving their old ground Elm Park. A very nice ground as well, good value for a ticket, would recommend it.


Reading 2-0 Gillingham
Tuesday 8th August 2017
Carabao Cup 1st Round

I had previously visited The Madejski once before back in January 2016 for an FA Cup replay game against Huddersfield, funnily enough both teams playing each other in last years Championship Play Off Final. I was fairly happy with the draw, there was only 1 new ground I could have ticked off had we been drawn with them, would have been Cardiff but I'm sure I will have chance to go there at some point. So anyway, Reading away with my team Gillingham, although I had been to The Madejski before, I hadn't been with Gills, so would have been nice to go in the away end at Reading as last time I was in the home end. Plus tickets for this game was ridiculously cheap, about £7 or £8 for a ticket which is good. Anyway onto the day itself, after having my barnet shortened, I left home at around half 1, and met up with Dad at work and arrived into Gillingham just before 3pm in order to get the coach that left at half 3.  For me, I felt that was way too early to leave Priestfield considering the game didn't kick off till 8pm but never mind. We left on the coach at half 3, and arrived to the ground at around 5.50pm.

So, after arriving just before 6, with trying to find time to kill, I noticed there was a retail park at the ground, with McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, even B & Q if you run out some tools. Plus I was fairly hungry anyway, so walked to McDonald's and grabbed a bite to eat. Whilst having a McDonald's, I was speaking to fellow Gills fan, Lee Clifton and spoke all things football and Gillingham. A good chat with Lee, and then made our way to the ground just before 7. Took some pics outside and then went straight into the ground. Found it a bit strange with a good number of security and stewards checking bags considering this game was only a cup game, plus Gillingham have no rivalry with Reading, but I suppose in some ways they have to for security reasons. Luckily I left my bag on the coach anyway as I didn't really need it anyway. Onto the game itself, even though we had lost, despite Reading playing a load of kids, it was pretty much mostly Reading although we did have our chances here and there. On the night it was probably deserved for Reading. I wasn't majorly fussed, would have been nice to get through, but I'm sure most fans agree it's the League we need to concentrate on. Only cup I'm most interested in is the FA Cup, which isn't till November anyway, hopefully we can have a decent FA Cup run this season coming as it's certainly due one haha. Afterwards, got back on the coach and arrived into Gills just after midnight. I arrived home just after 1am, not too bad as I didn't have work the next day which is pleasing. Onto Bradford at home now on Saturday, followed by my next new ground off the list with Margate vs Tonbridge Angels on the Tuesday and then Milton Keynes away the following Saturday.

Highlights from my 1st visit to The Madejski Stadium, Reading 5-2 Huddersfield Town.

Highlights from Reading 2-0 Gillingham, August 2017.

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