One massive Reading fan has completed a mammoth challenge of owning every shirt since his birth.

Loyal Royal Jamie Hodder set himself the challenge during the Covid-19 lockdown, and three years on has finally got his hands on the final kit needed to complete the set.

With more than 50 shirts in his collection, Mr Hodder reckons it has cost him “a small fortune” but insists it was all worthwhile.

Speaking to the Reading Chronicle, he explained: “I started in lockdown just as a little project. It started from a lockdown clear out and decluttering, I realised I had a half decent collection but with a few gaps, so I thought I’d see how far I could go and how much I could get.

“It started off relatively easy, shirts from about 2003 onwards were pretty easy to find, I had a few from that era anyways, so just had to fill a few gaps. It was the shirts from 1987- early 1990s I found difficult as they are very rare, including the Simod Cup shirt and the home shirt from that year.

“It was definitely a small fortune over the last few years. I won’t say exactly how much, but it’s definitely a nice holiday abroad (I hope my girlfriend has stopped reading by now!)”

Reading have played in three divisions and in two separate grounds since the mid-1980s cut off point, but one thing remains, the sometimes-wacky choice in kit.

Renowned for the blue and white hoops, for a period in the 1980s the side played in sky blue and ditched the famous hoops, but not for long.


Reading Chronicle:

Above: Mr Hodder's final shirt in the quest


With a vast collection, it is the hooped jersey’s that Mr Hodder has a special connection with.

“I think my favourite shirt is the 1996-98 home shirt,” he started. “It was the first shirt I remember my grandad buying me as a child so that’s my favourite, but my second favourite is probably the 1992/93 third shirt... yellow and red hoops... old school, heavy a bit like a rugby shirt, real class shirt.

“If anyone from the club is reading this, let’s do a remake of that!”

So with an emptier wallet and a fuller wardrobe, what’s next for the avid collector?


Reading Chronicle:

Above: Mr Hodder's favourite shirts in his collection


“Maybe I’ll keep an eye out on any shirts pre-1987! Then the challenge starts again!” he joked. “I’m in the process of buying a house with my girlfriend, she has said I can have one or two on the wall so I’ll have to choose my favourite two! Most of them are wearable but some of the older ones are in a condition where they look very old and worn so they’ll be the ones I just look after and keep them safe.

“Luckily enough, I’ve managed to get my hands on a view match worn shirts, so my next challenge is to keep looking out for them, especially early 1990s versions!”