Saturday, 28 April 2012


A bloke on the Internet called 'Thongs' posted a link to the Reading fans' forum.

It was named after a biscuit. Eating biscuits. Biscuits. Some biscuit pun. Something about hob-knobs, it's funny you see, because it's 'wacky'. Biscuits, get it?

I noticed that the name fitted Reading well. When I think of somebody making puns about eating hob-knobs I think of a cringey, lamentable arsehole. And if that cringey, lamentable arsehole was personified as a club, it'd be Reading.

On the hob-knob forum one guy with a peach as an avatar mused:

'Birmingham was a dump'


Why couldn't the ground be isolated off a motorway and annexed to a Pizza Hut and a Mothercare on a tacky shopping complex?

That's what the Reading people like you see. The family club. Football, pizza and wet-wipes, all within reach of a solitary car park. 

Of course, Small Heath isn't the greatest of places [I'm allowed to say that] but Reading? Come on. A tired, dated, commuter town where lowly office staff who can't afford to live in London dwell. A peeling, dilapidated vacuum of culture.

A town which produced Ricky Gervais. A tubby southerner who spends all day tweeting pictures of his cat and ramming home his militant atheism into people's bored faces.

If you drive in the triangle in between Bristol, Birmingham and London you'll see these places like Reading.

Creepy towns with wooden Safeway supermarkets from the 1970s; asbestos-ridden blocks of shops; a wetherspoons full of toothless locals, a café nero and a church.

'What more do you need!' I hear you cry.

At the game, at one particular moment, I stood up. Turning my head to the John Merrick stand, I viewed them in their end...

Plump women with frizzy uncombed hair smiling vacuously in spectacles as they banged clapperboards. Idiots in jester hats clapping their hands with mundane glee. Kate and Wills masks. 

A tapestry of 'Fruits of the Loom' jumpers dancing around, hoping that waving inflatables conjured up the false illusion of good support.

I shook my head in disappointment.

4,500 Reading fans - you'd have been lucky to receive 450 four months ago.

The Reading fans on the biscuit forum were falling over one another to congratulate such 'magnificent support'.

 Was it? Really?

After mewing out couple of muted post-match 'Championees' chants they slunk off out the ground.

Another 'nice', 'family' club of no importance in the Premiership then.

Let's see if we can't join them. A film or play with too many 'nice' characters is rather....dull.

There should be room for the bad guys.

There's no goal music at St Andrews. You can't buy ciabatta in the kiosks. We don't sing 'we follow, we follow'. We are overly hostile and partisan. We're not a family club. The ground and local area can be intimidating for away fans.

But you know what? 

I wouldn't swap that for all the hob-knobs in Berkshire.

Ta ra.


  1. I love this blog and it never fails to entertain me with an alternate view to things
    Totally agree with you saying in a previous post about the need for st Andrews needs to be more hostile for away fans and about reading being terrible
    Only bad thing is that there's not enough of these posts!

  2. Bitter beefburger.

  3. In response to those points you raise at the end of the that fairly clueless ramble...

    There's no goal music at St Andrews - No, but this is the club that brought in substitutions sponsors and laughably shout 'who?' whenever an opposition takes to the field of play. About as Mickey mouse as it comes.

    You can't buy ciabatta from kiosks - You can't at the Madejski. There's only one thing worse than having a Pizza Hut next to your ground, and that's having a Subway attached to your ground :spaz:

    We don't sing we follow - Neither do RFC

    I have been to St Andrews several times and have not been intimidated once. All I saw was a demographic of kids aged 10 - 17 stuffing down their chicken teriyaki subs whilst flicking the V from the safety of there own enclosure.

    Must try harder next time. If we meet again in the near future (doubtful), then maybe you'd like to look a bit closer.

    1. 'If we meet again in the near future (doubtful), then maybe you'd like to look a bit closer.'

      A little less 'doubtful' than you perhaps thought, hmmm? 6-1, eh? Wow...Oh, well, don't worry...have a chicken teriyaki sub.

  4. Amusing post but try to get the name of the old Railway correct. It's the Gil Merrick Stand not the John Merrick Stand :-)