Former Reading FC captain Jobi McAnuff was awarded the prestigious Sir Tom Finney award at the EFL Awards 2022.

The accolade is given to someone who has “had an outstanding career and contributed an exceptional amount to the EFL.”

McAnuff made more than 750 appearances in the Football League, with more than 200 of them coming for the Royals.


READ MORE: Reading FC legend wins prestigious EFL Award


Joining for an undisclosed fee in 2009, the wide-man was a key member of the squad until his departure in 2014- captaining the club for the final three seasons.

Below we look at the former Leyton Orient and Wimbledon midfielder’s standout moments in the blue and white of Reading.


Reading Chronicle:

Credit: McAnuff with Sir John Madejski (credit: Chris Forsey)


1. First goal for the club

A moment that might not stick out to many fans, every story must start at the beginning. Having arrived from Watford under Brendan Rodgers, McAnuff was given the number 11 shirt from the off. Playing more than 40 times in his debut season, in which the club finished just outside of the play-offs, after replacing Rodgers with fellow Royals legend Brian McDermott, and scored three times.

Only five players appeared more during his debut season, with another five scoring more goals than the Jamaican international.

His first goal for the club came on Halloween, a real treat for the travelling fans as it marked just the third win in the opening 15 matches- all of which were on their travels.

After Grzegorz Rasiak headed the Royals in front against Coventry City, within the opening minute, McAnuff put the side two up just after half time through a vicious half volley just inside the box.

Freddy Eastwood pulled one back before Rasiak made sure of the win as he notched his second, but it was to kick-start a three-game unbeaten run.



  1. Liverpool near-miss

A much more memorable match from McAnuff’s debut season, Reading earned a replay against Premier League giants Liverpool with a 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

Heading into the match at Anfield, nobody gave McDermott’s side a chance after suffering a heavy 4-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle in league action just days previously, but the script was well and truly ripped up.

Loanee Ryan Bertrand put one into his own net in first half stoppage time, but the real drama came late on.

Giving as good as they got, McAnuff’s mazy run with 10 minutes remaining made it perfectly obvious that they were capable of getting something out of the game in the North-West.

Picking the ball up from a loose Yossi Benayoun pass in the Reading half, McAnuff drove past three Reds players to reach the edge of the box before sidestepping two central defenders and jinking into the penalty area.

Left one-on-one with goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri, a shimmy of the hips sat the keeper down leaving a gaping space to his right-hand side.

Unfortunately, McAnuff clipped the ball just wide of the far post, holding his head in his hands as he realised how close he was to scoring one of the goals of the competition.

Thankfully the momentum wasn’t wasted as Academy graduate Gylfi Sigurdsson tucked home a stoppage time equaliser before striker Shane Long headed home an extra-time winner to set up a fourth-round tie with West Brom.

Reading would go on to reach the quarter-final that season, the first of successive last eight appearances, before losing a two-goal lead to be knocked out 4-2 by Aston Villa.



  1. Cardiff solo goal

Learning from his miss the season before, McAnuff ensured his mazy run was rewarded with a goal in 2010/11.

Playing 51 times in this season, the Royals won nine of their final 12 to storm into fifth place and qualify for the end of season play-offs.

Drawn fourth-placed Cardiff City, a nervy 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium set up a ‘winner takes all’ tie in South Wales for a place in the play-off final.

A lob from Long gave the visitors an opening half hour lead to defend and the Irishman doubled the lead from the penalty spot just minutes before half time.

With minutes ticking away it was looking more likely that it would be the Berkshire side walking down Wembley Way, not the Bluebirds, but McAnuff put the seal on the win in emphatic style.

Picking up the ball just inside Dave Jones’ side’s half from a throw-in, McAnuff cut past two four defenders, lost balance, regained balance and fired a low shot past Stephen Bywater before wheeling away in celebration with the thousands of travelling Royals in the corner of the Cardiff City Stadium.

Getting two assists in the showpiece final, it was to be heartbreak as the side went down 4-2 to Swansea City- little did we know at the time that the best was yet to come.



  1. ‘Are we up?’

Perhaps his most iconic moment, these three words will forever be associated with McAnuff’s time with Reading.

After the departure of Matt Mills in the summer, McAnuff was awarded the captains armband ahead of the 2011/12 campaign.

Despite a slow start, following play-off disappointment, McDermott’s side failed to win just four matches from January to April- setting up the possibility of confirming promotion with a win over Nottingham Forest.

With the outcome dependant on West Ham’s result, Mikele Leigertwood’s 82nd minute strike was not necessarily the deciding moment, however the Irons’ failure to beat Bristol City ensured that the 1-0 win was enough.

Thousands of fans stormed the pitch in jubilation, and an amazing video from pitch side captures the moment the skipper realised the club had been promoted, shouting ‘are we up?’ before running off with his arms outstretched in celebration.

Already 30 by this stage of his career, it was the first, and only, time that McAnuff had the opportunity to play in the Premier League.



  1. Final goals for Royals

After immediate relegation from the top-flight in 2012/13, Nigel Adkins took over mid-way through the season and was in charge for the club’s full season back in the Championship.

With one of the best squads in the division, expectations were high in Berkshire.

A predominantly positive season, they spend the vast majority of the term in the top six and McAnuff’s final two goals for Reading were vital in that quest.

Opening the scoring at St Andrews in the first half, winger Royston Drenthe carried the ball the length of the pitch before lifting a ball toward the back post. A defensive header did not go very far, and McAnuff brought the ball down, cut inside the defender and powered a shot past Darren Randolph.

Paul Caddis equalised from the penalty spot minutes later, but McAnuff got the final say when he got on the end of a Chris Gunter cross with less than 10 minutes remaining.

The double against Birmingham City in with a good chance of finishing in the play-offs, but just three wins in the final 10 meant that it was out of their hands come the final day.

A 2-2 draw with already-promoted Burnley looked to be enough, but a stoppage-time winner for Brighton against Nottingham Forest ensured it was the Seagulls finishing in the top six, not the Royals.



McAnuff did not have his contract extended following the culmination of the season in what turned out to be a summer of upheaval.

Title-winning favourites Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Adam Le Fondre and Jason Roberts also departed.