Why did you write the book?
The Reading team of 2005/6 was really something quite special – no-one who saw them will ever forget just how good they were.
That magical period deserves celebrating and needs to be brought to a wider audience, but as well as recording WHAT happened I’m determined to understand HOW and WHY it happened – how the gods of football all smiled on Reading at the same time and turned them into something so much more than just a collection of players, but into a marvelously effective and entertaining team.
What research are you carrying out to write this book?
I’m interviewing as many of the key people involved in this team as I can, to understand their perspective on what happened and what made it all possible.
So I’ll be interviewing players and coaching staff, as well as those who chose and funded them, and also a number of others intimately involved with the team on a day-to-day basis. By the end of this, I hope to gave gained real insight into what was behind the team and what made them tick.
Oh, and I’m not forgetting the fans. I want to include opinions and perspectives from a whole range of supporters, so I’m giving them the chance to contribute to this project and to have their thoughts included, through what I’m calling the “Loyal Royals” panel.
When are you publishing? Why wait until March?
I want to publish as closely as possible as I can to the tenth anniversary of Reading’s promotion, 25th March 2006. The current plan is to launch the book at the Madejski Stadium, Reading at the nearest home game to that anniversary, which (subject to fixture changes) is the game against Cardiff City on 19th March 2016.
Is this an official Reading FC publication?
No, definitely not, so I hope it’ll be less “corporate” and more free-thinking than an official book. Reading FC are co-operating in this project, though, and I’m interviewing lots of current and former staff as part of my research.