In this week's column, Jason Brock, the leader of Reading Borough Council, announces the news that a cup that Reading FC won decades ago is 'coming back home'. Councillor Brock writes:

Football is more than win, lose, or draw (although a few league wins for Reading would be nice). Football clubs are part of a town’s identity. They bring a shared belonging, a feeling of camaraderie, and a sense of collective history – and Reading FC is one of the oldest surviving clubs in the Football League.

And speaking of history, Cllr John Ennis and I went together to the Cambridge Utd v Reading game back in September. Afterwards, we got chatting about that historic Reading win at Wembley 35 years ago – the Simod Cup final, the only time Reading have won at Wembley despite numerous heart-breaking play-off finals and an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

More than 40,000 Reading fans made the pilgrimage to Wembley on 27 March 1988 (the year of my birth, I say to make some colleagues feel old – rather unfairly). Cllr Ennis and I decided we wanted to bring the good times back, or at least memories of them. I was aghast to discover that the trophy was not on active display anywhere, but also delighted that we negotiated its loan from the National Football Museum. Reading Museum’s Community Engagement Curator, Brendan Carr, made the trip to Preston to collect it and, like many of you, Brendan was at the final 35 years ago, so it was especially poignant for him.

So, it’s come home! The original Simod Cup trophy, a symbol of one of the most memorable days in Reading FC's history, will be on display at Reading Museum in the Story of Reading Gallery until Saturday, December 23 (and I personally dusted the top of the display cabinet, so please take a moment to appreciate that if you’re as tall as me). Do pop along and reminisce, and I hope it provides a much-needed morale boost during these challenging times.

Clearly, the Council holds our football club dear, and I'd reiterate our call to the Government and the English Football League for better regulation in the sport. Local councils should not be left with such limited powers when a significant part of their community's identity is under threat. It’s the loyal fans who are suffering with the points deductions, embargos, and uncertainty.

We’ll do all we can. I wrote in my column a few weeks ago about how the Council worked with STAR (Supporters’ Trust at Reading) to protect the Select Car Leasing Stadium by granting it an Asset of Community Value and, more recently, I and many other Councillors showed our ongoing support by joining the Sell Before We Dai march on Saturday, October 28.

A football club isn't just a place to watch a game; it's a place where memories are made, it’s a place where we spend time with friends and family, and, here, it is an integral part of our town’s life and soul. We all hope and look forward to better times ahead.