1872 READING SCHOOL REMATCH

A crowd of 250 watched the re-staging of Reading’s first ever win

on 16 October 1872 over Reading School on the school playing field

On a sunny afternoon the club triumphed again winning both halves 2-0; the first half was played to the 1872 rules with the club wearing a very special limited edition dated retro kit, which will be sold on to supporters.

Replica shirt

Expressions of interest to media@star-reading.org

Though the laws of the game and the pitch marking were much simpler in 1872 it was quite a logistical feat to stage the match. Players and officials (two umpires and a presiding referee) had to be briefed on the laws which included no penalty areas, one-handed throw-ins at right angles given to whoever grabbed the ball when it went into touch, no nets or subs or referee’s whistle.

The School had to prepare for paying spectators in a Covid era (neither were features in 1872) and produce an explanatory and commemorative programme. The traditional brown ball went too flat early on and had to replaced. But it was all good fun and the participants enjoyed a different way of playing. The event celebrated both 150 years of Reading FC and 150 years of the School on its present Erleigh Road site.

For more coverage, please see https://www.readingfc.co.uk/news/2022/february/24/royals–first-ever-win-recreated–150-years-on-/

And here’s the original match report from The Field magazine. It shows Joseph Sydenham, the Secretary, in the line-up for the only known occasion and a suspiciously rugby-like 5-3-5 formation!

Original Report

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