In celebration of Reading Football Club's 150th anniversary, The Reading Chronicle spoke with 15 figures from the Reading community, past and present, to find out above all one thing: What makes Reading FC special?

Glen Little

2002-2003, 2004-2008, 2008-2009

Appearances: 123

When I signed for Reading I’d been at Burnley for a long time and it was a chance for me to come back down south, be closer to home. I’d been on loan at the club before and just thought it was a really nice, friendly, family club. 

People get there early, families with their kids - and I liked that. At Burnley, five minutes till kick-off there was hardly anyone in the ground and then all of a sudden people would fill up the ground. Whereas at Reading there was a different feel. People would be there two hours before the game, waiting, spending the day down at the ground. More of a day out.

The stadium as well. Mr Madejski built a lovely stadium. I just felt it was a lovely club, on the up, and coming to that stage of my career, I needed to play for a club that I felt was ambitious and could win promotion - and fortunately, that’s exactly how it worked out. 

Reading Chronicle: Glen Little battles for the ball against Robbie Keane. Image by: PAGlen Little battles for the ball against Robbie Keane. Image by: PA

It was a growing town as well. The attendances got better and better the more success we had. It was a thriving club that was improving season after season. They had been in League One, had the promotion to the Championship, had been in the playoffs, gotten close, had their chances. And luckily then I turned up and within a couple of seasons, we finally did it.

It was a great time, the feel-good factor was there. It’s still lovely to go back, to follow the club, it’s just a shame the last few years there’s been so much chopping and changing, they have sort of lost their way a bit - but you’re always hoping that one season can change it.

Even now, when I go back to do the radio, even if you get there an hour and a half, two hours before the game, supporters are there waiting for the players to turn up, with their shirts on, with their kits. I really liked that, I thought that was great: where you turn up and there are families already there making a real day of it.

Reading Chronicle: The Reading players celebrate their 2006 promotion. Image by: PAThe Reading players celebrate their 2006 promotion. Image by: PA

It’s something I always liked and we were fortunate to have the success we did. I’m so proud to be a part of it when you’re thinking about 150 years of the club…and I was lucky to be there for some of the best years. You talk about players' careers, sometimes you get lucky in football, sometimes you get unlucky, there are lots of ups and downs. But for me at Reading, there were a lot of ups! It went so well, I had such a great time.

Even though the new stadium was on the outskirts, it was always a lovely place to play. Especially the night games, always had a special atmosphere. But all the players will say…we really had the time of our lives there. Those couple of seasons, it was so good to be a part of…a great bunch of lads we had. The only disappointment that came of it is that we didn’t keep it going long enough. That would be the only regret. Those two/three years were great but then we came down and it all sort of broke up.

Stand-out memory:

The best memory is the promotion, no doubt about it. The celebrations at Leicester and then winning the league against Derby. Great times and like I said, to do it with the bunch of lads we had…great bunch and all living the dream together. There were just so many highs that season. And then the bus around the town, everyone coming out to see us, then back to the stadium again, coming out on the pitch…great memories for me.

Click here to read all of our 15 for 150 interviews