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?

Barry Hunter



Appearances: 84

Basically the people, the people who were there at the time. At the time the main one was John Madejski, but also Ian Wood-Smith, Bryan Stabler…they were very much fixtures. But also people on the support staff side, people like Ronny Grant - the kit man for many years. I’m still in touch with all of them and when I see them it’s obviously good to catch up. Sue Hewett is still at the club, she was a young girl in the office. It’s like any club - it’s the people who make it. Good people. And good people normally lead to successful organisations.

Reading Chronicle: Barry Hunter in action for Reading in 2001. Image by: PABarry Hunter in action for Reading in 2001. Image by: PA

And also obviously the supporters, the local people. Even though I left Reading in 2001 we ended up settling, we still live here, my kids went to school here. I still live in Caversham, so we’re very much part of the community. It’s been a good place for us to settle and bring up a family. 

Stand-out memory:

The first day at Elm Park, the old Elm Park. In the dressing room. Big characters there, Phil Parkinson, Michael Gilkes…Ronny Grant. I think Ronny picked me up from the train when I arrived. Just a good atmosphere, good people, and that was pretty evident quickly. There’s a lot of those people still around, most not at the club, but I still see them.

Click here to read all of our 15 for 150 interviews