Steve Death has been voted as the best Reading FC goalkeeper of the last five decades by a popular Royals podcast.

The 1871 podcast, hosted by the son of a former club director, Mark Roach, former Reading left back Dylan Kerr and lifelong supporter Johnny Hunt.

Guests so far on the 1871 podcast have included Reading FC legends Steve Coppell, Graeme Murty, Adam Le Fondre, Jamie Cureton, Simon Osborn, Stuart Lovell, Shaka Hislop, Dylan Kerr, Andy Bernal, Trevor Senior, Kevin Bremner, Lawrie Sanchez and former Reading FC assistant managers Nigel Gibbs and Martin Allen.

Reading Chronicle:

On this week’s episode, they choose the greatest Reading FC goalkeeper from the last 50 years, while next Sunday they will choose the greatest Reading defenders from the last 50 years, in two weeks they will choose the greatest Reading FC midfielders and in three weeks they will choose their greatest Reading FC forwards - to complete a greatest Reading FC XI from the last 50 years.

Those goalkeepers that made the longlist were Death, Alan Judge, Gary Westwood, Steve Francis, Shaka Hislop, Scott Howie, Phil Whitehead, Marcus Hahnemann, Adam Federici, Alex McCarthy, Ali Al-Habsi, Vito Mannone and Rafael.

Mr Roach and Mr Hunt then whittled the list into a short-list comprised of Death, Hislop, Hahnemann, Federici and Al-Habsi.

Reading Chronicle:

Above: Adam Federici was shortlisted, spending 10 years with the club (credit: PA)


The winner was Death, who made more than 500 appearances for the club between 1969 and 1982, receiving a testimonial in 1980.

The 5’7” keeper won the Reading Player of the Season Award four times and won the PFA divisional award twice.

He was a part of the 1979 Division Four title-winning side, keeping 26 clean sheets, and famously held a Football League record of 1,074 minutes without conceding until 2009 when it was broken by Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Saar.

Trinidad and Tobago international Hislop was runner-up, with longevity being the main factor.

Hislop played more than 120 times for the Royals between 1992-1995, getting wider acclaim in the Premier League with Newcastle United and West Ham United.

Click here to listen to the latest episode, or any of the previous episodes.