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?

Bobby Williams

Inside left, Reserve team coach, Youth coach, Scout


Appearances: 72

We had a good camaraderie, a good spirit between the players. When I played we all got on together and the supporters were very good. It was just a pleasure to play for Reading Football Club. It was a good family club.

Elm Park was right in the town and it was a magic atmosphere…especially when you were winning! I came from Bristol, I started with Bristol City and we used to come to Elm Park to play Reading, a couple of times a season and I always enjoyed playing at Reading. It was a good pitch and a good atmosphere. So when I came to sign on it was quite easy because I always felt at home here.

The manager who signed me, Jack Mansell, I played for him at Rotherham United, so I knew what I was coming to, I knew what a good coach he was. I was a footballing type player and he liked footballers. Ball-players. So it was very happy for me to sign.

Reading Chronicle: Dennis Law of Manchester United in action against Reading at Elm Park (see story below). Image by: PADennis Law of Manchester United in action against Reading at Elm Park (see story below). Image by: PA

I fitted in from day one. Everyone made you feel welcome and we went from there. I came in 1969, two years as a player and then I went onto the staff as a reserve team manager and youth team manager for 25 years. So I was there for over 40 years. And then I ended up a scout until the lockdown.

Stand-out memory: 

When we got promotion to the Premier League! We were always with Bristol City in the third division - that’s where we were for years and years. So when we got promotion to the Premier League, that was the icing on the cake! We had a good season that first season, up in the top half of the Premier League - it was magic! At that time I was a scout.

Another special time was when we played Man United in 1970. We had a cup for the highest goalscorers in every league, called the Watney Cup. And we were drawn against Man United. I was made captain for the day and I was playing against great players like Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, and George Best. They only just managed to beat us 3-2. We more than held our own against them. That was another great memory for me.

Click here to read all of our 15 for 150 interviews