Reading FC record appearance holder, Martin Hicks, believes his record will never be beaten.

Signed in 1978 from Charlton Athletic, the central defender went on to make 603 appearances in the next 13 years- a golden period for the club.

Winning promotion from Division Four in his debut campaign, the club’s first promotion in over 50 years, Hicks was also a part of the 1985/86 record breaking team which won their first 13 league matches from the start of the season to earn promotion to Division Two.

However, his, and the club’s, peak came in 1988 when the club famously lifted the Simod Cup at Wembley.

Speaking on the 1871 podcast, Hicks explained that he didn’t realise just how much of an impact it had made on the town until many years down the line.

He started: “The day and the build-up was something we dreamed of and hadn’t been part of before. It was no different except you were in a different hotel and went up Wembley Way. It takes days, weeks, and years for it to sink in.

“I get more pleasure when I go back now. The last time I went back I pulled up in the car and there’s people watching me straight away and they’re so excited to see you because of what you did at Wembley. Not only did you have a good day, but they had a good day. You don’t understand the proudness of the people of Reading- even now they say it’s the best day of their life. It gives you such a thrill- I’ll never forget it, but they won’t also.

Just weeks after the day at Wembley, relegation back to Division Three was confirmed, a league the Royals would stay in until 1994, when Hicks was at Birmingham City.

With more than 600 appearances, Hicks is more than 60 games ahead of second place Steve Death.

Despite never having played at the top-level, the Stratford-upon-Avon born centre-back explains he has no regrets about staying in Berkshire for so long.

He continued: “You didn’t have the social media everywhere; it was a bit of hearsay. There were times [I could have left] but they were clever, they looked after me. I was happy there, we settled there, and it was wonderful times.

“When you’re happy at a club why would you want to go anywhere else? I don’t look back with regret if I did do that it’s sad. Nobody will ever play 600 games and it’s there for history, its stone- solid.”


Click here to listen to the full podcat.