FORMER members of the university football team held a special reunion to mark the 50th anniversary of a hugely-successful season.

People came from as far as America to attend a gathering at the Whiteknights campus, followed by a visit to Madejski Stadium to watch the Aston Villa match on Saturday.

The squad of University of Reading alumni enjoyed a memorable campaign back in 1968/69, reaching the semi-final of the national Universities' Athletic Union (UAU) championship.

This run included a 3-3 draw against Manchester in the quarter-finals, with UAU officials eventually agreeing to a replay after three periods of extra time.

The teams met one week later and Reading prevailed with a 2-1 victory, setting up a semi-final against Loughborough College on February 5, 1969.

Under the floodlights of Elm Park – then the home of Reading FC – the hosts were beaten 1-0, following victories over Bath, Bristol, Exeter in previous stages.

"If only the dog which invaded the pitch had scored when clean through on the Loughborough goal," remarked team member Graham Plumley.

Goalkeeper and captain of the team, Sid Forrest, organised a reunion to mark the 50th anniversary of the momentous match.

Thanks to the support of the university’s Alumni Office, he managed to track down another 11 members of the first team squad.

Twelve players were in town at the start of February to mark the occasion, as well as seven wives, several of whom were also Reading graduates.

Mr Forrest has been living in the United States of America since 2002 and travelled all the way from Pennsylvania for the reunion.

Many of the old gang had not seen each other since graduation and it proved to be a perfect opportunity for the group to reminisce about old times.

They enjoyed a tour of the Whiteknights campus, including the sports park, which was the scene of so many memorable matches in the late 1960s.

On Saturday afternoon, they were invited by Reading FC to watch the goalless draw against Aston Villa, a very different stadium to the Elm Park they were familiar with.

In 1969, the university’s football team was coached by Dave Bacuzzi, who was captain of Reading FC and he fostered a close and special relationship between the university and the Royals.

Sadly, he was unable be able to join the reunion due to ill health, but the squad remember him well and his contribution to their overall success was not forgotten.