IT was mayhem outside Madejski Stadium following Reading's FA Cup tie against Sheffield United.

Highways England decided to close the M4 Westbound between junctions 11 and 12 despite being told the game could finish late if there was extra time, which did happen.

At the best of times, getting out of the main car park is not easy, and so it was even worse on on Tuesday.

Many motorists were stuck until very late, meaning a good number of Sheffield supporters did not get back home until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Royals fan Paul Hunsdon tweeted it was "traffic carnage" outside the stadium, adding: "Not a smart move by Highways England."

Congratulations to former Reading FC player and manager Mick Gooding and Leila Dickinson, who used to play for Reading Royals Ladies, on their engagement.

I have known the likeable pair for a very long time.

Both were excellent players in their day, showing an abundance of awareness and vision, although I thought Leila was slightly the more aggressive of the two.

Leila was also a county standard tennis player.

THERE will be no shaking of opponents' hands before and after many of tomorrow's football matches.

It's all down to Coronavirus, of course.

Following guidance from the public health authorities, the Hellenic League were one of the first to suspend handshakes until further notice.

For the same reason, Reading Hockey Club are asking that any member or visitor who has been to any lockdown region to stay away from Sonning Lane for the next two weeks.

HOPEFULLY the local soccer programme will return to normal, or as near as possible, this weekend.

Many teams – particularly those in the Thames Valley Premier League and Reading Sunday League – saw very little action throughout February due to the storms.

Pitches are still drying out, but it is getting to the stage where matches must go ahead even if the conditions are far from ideal.

In my younger days, ploughing through deep mud and surface water added to the enjoyment.

It's also coming to the time where dual-purpose grounds will be preparing for the cricket season.