(Half Time: 0-0)
Reading Scorers: Cureton (77 mins)
Brentford Scorers: Rowlands (51 mins)
Date: 20 April 2002

Reading: Whitehead, Murty, Viveash, Shorey, Hughes, Igoe (Cureton 67), Parkinson, Williams, Salako, Butler (Savage 89), Forster. Subs not used: Talia, Roget, Watson.

Brentfrod: Smith, Dobson, Ingimarsson, Powell, Anderson, Rowlands, Hunt (Williams 82), Sidwell, Evans, Owusu, Burgess. Subs not used: Gottskalksson, Boxall, O'Connor, Theobald.

Bookings: Salako (Reading); Anderson, Evans, Rowlands (Brentford).
Referee: F G Stretton (Nottingham)

When Jamie Cureton deftly lifted the ball over Smith in the Brentford goal with thirteen minutes left, the blue and white end of the ground erupted, and although there was there were a few anxious moments before the final whistle, I somehow felt that we would hang on for the point we deserved. This was gritty performance, which was just what was needed, but for most of the game I had a strong feeling we were destined for the play-offs again. It was far too tense an occasion to be enjoyable and when the final whistle blew the feeling of elation was heavily laced with relief. We were up at last. The sun shone players and fans sang and danced. It was a moment to savour.

The biggest surprise in selection was the omission of Watson, our most composed and skilful central midfield player, but to keep the balance in the centre of midfield I suppose Hughes had to play. Pardew's selection was vindicated in the end mainly because Parky had an inspired game. Nobody could have fought harder than he did for this result - and he didn't even get a yellow card! I was worried that Pardew might play for the draw but there was no evidence of sitting back. Neither was there any reckless charge to get an early goal. Thankfully we got the tactics right.

The full 90 minutes as you would expect was fiercely contested but it has to be said Reading looked the more likely team to play controlled football. Brentford looked to play the ball forward quickly to their big men up front, a tactic which has caused us problems this season. The first half produced few real chances. Brentford's main threat was in the air from set pieces. One header from Burgess produced a superb save from Whitehead. Forster as always looked to be Reading's most likely player to breach the home team's defence with his pace. Butler battled away up front but is not yet back to his best after his long lay off. When half time came the scoreline suited the Royals but with Brentford needing a win, something had to give.

We didn't have long to wait. Five minutes after the interval Owusu outpaced Williams on the left and crossed for Rowlands to hammer the goal that made my heart sink. The home fans celebrated and I was left wondering where a goal from Reading was coming from. We had scrapped well so far but Hughes and Parky were not creating much and Brentford's defence seemed to be doing a good job of stifling Butler and Forster. With their season disintegrating the Royals raised their game and began to mount some real pressure for the first time. Then Pardew made the crucial change. Igoe was replaced by Cureton, and having learned from his mistake at Cambridge, he pushed Forster out wide on the right and paired Cureton with Butler. The little striker needed only ten minutes to make his mark and he did so with a goal worthy of a higher division, running onto a Parkinson flick before calmly lifting the ball over the advancing 'keeper. Fitting that our best finisher should score the crucial goal.

Of course they didn't give up, but the body language of some of the Brentford team said it all. They were looking around at each other as if surprised that we were back in the game and not quite sure what to do about it.

Reading fans have suffered over the last few weeks of the season but in the end the team did enough to go up - just. We may have lacked the drive to win games when it mattered, and dropped more points than we should have in the run in, but you can't fault their resilience and determination not to lose! As we celebrated, the police and stewards had the unenviable task of fending off a handful of thugs masquerading as Brentford fans. We were too busy wallowing in the glory of promotion to care what they were up too. What rounded the day off nicely for me was the way a large number of real Brentford fans waited about twenty minutes after the game to applaud the Reading team for their achievement. They appreciated how hard we had fought for our reward. Good luck to them in play-offs.

All that remains to be done now is to wait for the hangover to clear and contemplate the World Cup, a summer holiday, and new season in Division One. You never know - we might be going to Cardiff again next year!
Report by John Wells

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Thanks to James Mitchell for photographs

Post Match Opinions

The Royals 1-1 win over Brentford at Griffin Park, means Reading are promoted back to the first division. After 4 years absence, a Jamie Cureton header secured Royals place back with the big boys in Division one. Both sides dominated the game at set periods. For the first 20 minutes, it was very tight with neither side giving way. Brentford then controlled the tempo of the game, for 25 minutes up till half time. Brentford then went a goal up with Matthew Rowlands hitting the score sheet just after the half time break. A long gap followed until 17 minutes from time, Jamie Cureton headed it into the back of the Brentford net. Until full time, Royals seemed completely in control, although they could just steal the last minute winner. Being in division one means higher TV funds coming into the club, better players being attracted to the club and of course, booming attendances. Personally I believe we could fill the Madejski with top matches against teams like Coventry, Leicester and Derby next season. As for Brentford they go to Huddersfield Town for their playoff legs, and Cardiff City go to Stoke City.
-- Craig

As we set off from West Berkshire yesterday morning, our motley gang was a mixture of doom and gloom merchants and the ever reliable optimists. For once I had an almost surreal feeling that it was going to be our day and I boldly predicted a 1-1 draw. Nearly every week I have a bet but desperate for any possible changes of fortune decided not too this day. Would it be our day or were we destined to go down in history as one of the biggest chokers in football? Well we all know what happened so I'm not going to report much on the match as many others will do a better job than I could. What I will say though, is that yesterday we saw 13 true heroes in the famous hoops. This was the Reading Football Club we love.
Four players stood out for me Ade Williams, though possibly at fault for their goal and Ade Viveash were simply awesome, Parky came into his own and though lacking in skill yet again gave a captains performance that brought a lump to your throat, and Andy Hughes! Yes the bloke I put on the same boat to India as Lazy fat arse Rougier last week in my opinion had a stormer of a game in midfield. All I can say Hughesy is sorry mate. I'll happily eat humble pie for weeks and will pay for your return boat fair.
Finally Jamie Cureton! What can you say? The guy will now go down is history as a legend and one thing as absolutely certain, we must keep him at the club at all costs. The finish was sublime, pure class. Hope he stays, but I'm not sure if he will. I'm so chuffed for John Madjeski, what a bloke. I rarely heap praise, but we owe so much to the man. Give him a bloody Knighthood I say for his services to long suffering sad sods like us! Wonder if the Queen reads this as we are the Royals? Do us a favour ma'am and knight him! While I'm in this mood of joy, I'd also like to praise the ref yesterday, I thought he had a super game. Well done ref ! Mind you all the other refs are still wankers! What I really like to comment on was the day, the feeling after the final whistle went and the euphoria of actually tasting success. I feel I can now lay the Bolton nightmare to rest. This is a new dawn for Reading Football Club and having escaped the likes of the bogs at Bury, the gristle burgers of Oldham and the dumps of the likes of Colchester and Chesterfield we can now start to realise the huge potential that exists in the club.
The past couple of months have been very testing for us fans and of course the players and Pardew . But now the fat lady is singing her heart out, we have done it, and full credit must go to the players and the staff. Now is not the time the question players and the managers ability to perform in division one. Sure we need new players, but I feel the heart of the squad is sound. Next season we'd all settle for mid table no doubt. We will be going to games as underdogs, we won't be expected to win every game. With our strikers that's where we are at our best.
What can you say about the support yesterday, absolutely magnificent, unbelievable. Every one of us should be proud. In our gang we even had "SAS war hero " Lobby who broke his ankle falling off his moped last week making the game in a bloody wheelchair! What a true fan! Even our mate Soggy volunteered to be his helper and push him. Brings a tear to the eye. Other pledges of mad dedication having secured promotion include Bob the Builder shaving off his gay moustache off after twenty years of ridicule, Big Paddy promising to lose about five stone, and Buzzer and myself going down to the tattoo parlour next week to proudly have URZ tattooed on our arses! Well may be the arm! I've always thought Bill Shankly's quote about football being more important than life or death, was the biggest load of crap ever uttered. I still do. But anybody who says to you football, " its just a game " just had to be there yesterday. To get a result like that, against the only team that could take promotion away from us, away from home, and after going one goal down was stuff of dreams.
Quite simply people who say "its just a game" just do not understand. When the darling referee blew the final whistle this incredible surge of relief and ecstasy surged throughout every one of us. The scenes on the terraces were unbelievable. I hugged and kissed so many people that any alien who had just landed would had thought it was a gay orgy as so many men kissed and embraced each other. Woohoo who gave a toss, we were up and the party began. The train journey back to Reading was so special, singing our hearts out, so many beaming smiling faces. We even had a brick lobbed through a window by a Brentford hooligan just for good measure but nothing was going to spoil our day.
This was our day. The day those who were there could say "I was there" The day Reading Football Club come of age. Have a great summer everybody, you never know England may win the World Cup and we will get promoted to the Premiership next season. Dreams can come true you know... boy do I talk shit at times! UUUUUU F'ING RRRRRZZZZZZZZZ!!

-- Nick Newbury

I had a tear in my eye today... we have done it we have f*cking done it, it doesn't get better than this. Firstly for the plaudits, thank you HNA for letting me express my elation and desperation through the season, your site is a must for all Loyal Royals and well done to all correspondents, in particular Crowthorne Royal, Thatcham Royal, my old pal in the north Darren Hall, and the eloquent Nick Newbury, I have enjoyed all your reports and I hope the feeling is mutual.
One thing I know for sure is that all you correspondents are as happy as me tonight. This night is for us, and bollocks to all those jonny come lately so called football supporters in the Thames Valley who support Man U, Tottenham and Arsenal, any glory you have is shallow, when we have our moment it really means something special to us. Secondly, well done TVFM your reporter was a credit to you today in the second half. He loves Reading as much as any of us, and proved it by firstly by announcing he wanted Jamie Cureton's baby's after Jamie scored, before proudly telling us that he would get so drunk tonight that he wouldn't be able to sit let alone walk. A good man I think you will all agree.
Thirdly congratulations to Alan Pardew and the team. I have at times been critical of A.P this season but I will not deny him his moment of deserved glory. He will learn from the pressure he has endured in the last few weeks and I sincerely hope it will make him a stronger manager because he is a decent and honest man. The team battled back superbly today and they deserve a rousing reception on the open top bus tomorrow, none more so than Jamie Cureton who had the coolness of Dennis Bergkamp to get us promotion. Well done Jamie we love you even if others don't, I have even named one of my tropical fish after you. Finally a massive thanks to John Madjeski. I have heard narrow minded supporters be critical of Mr Madjeski's spending. Nothing we have acheived this season could have happened without his finances and level headed business practises, and we have a healthy future.
To all those who doubt Mr Majdeski, take yourself back ten or fifteen years and look at the state we were in under that toad Roger Smee. I and everyone associated with Reading are going to enjoy this night and well we should, we deserve every pint we can swallow. Look out Brighton the wankers from the pathetic Withdean athletics track, you think you are smart now, as do those twats at BBC South Today, but you are going down next season as THE ROYALS GO MARCHING ON ON ON. Cheerio Stoke, Ta Ta Bristol City and F*ck off Sam Hamman and your so called sleeping giants. I hope Brentford stuff you out of sight, I never want to go to your shit town or shit ground again. Yours getting all emotional,

-- Bob Lethaby

Well done Reading FC! Promotion at last and much deserved after 2 really good seasons. Those play-offs looked a bit ominous at 4.30pm. Well done Jamie Cureton for keeping your head in the white-hot heat of the moment. A priceless goal! So what is the difference between this season and last? Could it be the improved fitness of the whole squad? Credit to Niall Clark there, an unsung hero from the backroom staff. Also credit to number 13 throughout the season, especially away from the Mad Stad. 15,000 average home gate next season?
-- URZ -Telford Royal

Well, what a difference a week makes! Last week, frustration, thoughts of booking flights back to the UK for yet another Playoff Final. This week, joyful jubilation, listening to someone on the Internet who sounds to me like the King of the Daleks, commentating on the Mighty Royals winning deserved promotion to Division One. Well done lads - you have made me extremely proud, and won me many bets at the same time. Life as a Reading fan is a wonderful rollercoaster of a ride - always gut wrenching, but never boring! Cheers for the ride - I will always pay money to join it.
-- Hong Kong Tony

Well Done. (Why must you always do things the hard way?) You ran it very close by failing to kill off ordinary teams at home. You must make the Madejski a FORTRESS next season. Enjoy It, Good Luck, etc.
Yet another Biscuitman news gobbler in the Far East,

-- Hugh Terry

I was at Madjeski. I was there when the first half drew to a close on the big screen.The atmosphere was electric. Emotions were high and lager was flowing. It seemed a very long time, the half time period. The blank screen remained blank well into the second half. Eventually, it was announced that difficulties were prohibiting the coverage, we all missed seeing the first goal. Rumours abounded. Was it a Reading goal? No. To be sitting with 5000 like minded people with no outlet for emotion other than to ask for a radio to be brought in. Eventually, order was restored with reconnection to the game.We all witnessed the very magic moment when the fans favourite scored.I will always be able to say. I was there.
-- N. Graham

Not really an opinion, just a big thank you to Jamie and the others. You've made an old man very happy!
-- Hook Royal No. 6

A fantastic day, a great achievement. I still can't quite believe it, it's a bit like a dream. Not a classic but the team showed a lot of courage to fight back in a critical situation. Pards has taken a lot of criticism, especially in the recent stuttering run, but he got his team selection spot on today. There were 11 heroes out there today. And what a finish by Curo... the stuff of legends. Today is a day we'll always remember.
-- Peter Jones

Well done Reading you got what you needed and at the end of the day over the season you have had deserved it. I hope for our sake that we can reform and lift our heads high for the play offs against Huddersfield and get to Cardiff. On behalf of Bees fans I apologise for the morons at the end of the game trying to spoil your moment of glory. Look forward to hopefully revisiting the Madjeski again next season. Well done.
-- Mark Taylor, Brentford Fan

YES! Div 1 here we come. I am writing this on Sunday, with one of the worst hangovers I have ever had.
What a day.
Not having a ticket for Griffin Park, I settled in to a packed East Stand to watch the game. That's the first game I have seen on ITV Digital. Was that how they cover all their games? The commentators knowledge of Reading was gained from a video of the play off final against Bolton. We were treated to shots of the pitch at random moments during the game, the presenter on the pitch was never ready for the camera. No wonder they have gone bust. The first half looked pretty even though Brentford looked more dangerous towards the end. Then disaster. The 2nd half kicked off, and the screen was black! No commentary either. While we were all desperately phoning around to find out what was happening, a huge cheer went up. We thought Reading had scored. A man behind us had a radio and was trying to point out that BRENTFORD, had scored. Jubilation turned to massive frustration, as we still saw nothing on the screen.
Eventually somebody rigged up classic gold to the PA system until the screen came back on, some 20 minutes late! It seemed the second half was all Reading, but no goal. Then up steps Jamie Cureton. He turned the game, and scored the goal. We went wild. Last year I remember Pardew saying we would need Cureton's goal if we were to go up. The crystal ball got that one dead right. It was looking like the draw specialists had one more draw in them. When the final whistle was blown we streamed onto the pitch, celebrated there for a while, then turned to the hotel bar. We soon had that rocking to! Numerous pints later we all waited outside for the players. We weren't let down. The coach drove up with them on the roof spraying beer and singing. I swear winning the Championship at Elm Park didn't feel half as good. Maybe that shows how much has changed since then. Back then our own expectations were lower. We certainly weren't the biggest club, nobody thought us special. Now we have the best stadium this division has ever seen, we have the biggest gates and the other teams made us battle far harder. We now move on to a division where we used to be seen as a small fish in a big pond. This is a big club now, we will meet them all as equals. Come on URZ's!

-- Paul L, Thatcham Royal

Congratulations on your promotion to Division 1. It looked a bit worrying to get enough points to go up but what a game to do it. We should of been champions but like most reading fans will settle for the runners up spot. I'd love to be there for the celebrations, but I'll have a couple of quiet ones over here in Perth, Australia! Lets hope it's a good season next year.
All the best to the players, fans and sponsors of the Royals, all the best for next season.

-- Dave Carvell, Perth Australia.

I was not at the match but was keeping up to date on the radio and can only say well done you rrrrrrrr's. A well deserved result that sees us back up where we belong, the first division. Heres to a monster celebration of a wonderful season well done the lads heros everyone of you. Many congratulations.
-- Michael James
ps What a day for the MADJESKI STADIUM with London Irish thumping Northampton

I had two choices, go and watch Rochdale and try and put the match out of mind, or stay at home and listen on the Internet. I choose the later but was frustrated because the streaming choose today to be and pain and keep cutting off. However when Brentford scored the broadcast was load and clear. I thought b******ks and took the dog for a walk. I heard a roar from spotland as the Dale equalised against the Rovers and had a feeling that we would equalise next! So I rushed back home dragging a disappointed boxer dog behind me and there it was on Sky Sport news: Brentford 1 Reading 1.
Naturally I went mental and the dog just thought what's he on! ten minutes of frustration with the Internet followed and we were there. Congratulations to all at the club for making our dream come true, and Jamie I would knight you if I had the powers. come Pards keep him at the club and play him anything else would be a huge mistake. A note to Brentford Fans Who's Cocky Now?

-- P Holton

Didn't see the game... had to put up with a crappy internet coverage with loads of distortion... that seemed to make it even more tense! I'm not going to dwell on anything else, other than the fact...I am so HAPPY!!! Made into Reading last night, left our daughter with her Grandparents, and got completely wasted! Great result, great end to the season, great night... we love you Reading we do...
-- Nigel, Chippenham Royal.

Well done the team, the club, the supporters. Please don't do that waiting bit again on us. Some of us who now live away cannot get to the matches but follow we still do. At this time I would like to recall club servants of past years. All very good men fo their day. The one and only Stan the man Wicks. Johnny Walker. Good old Mr Blackman who had fire in his boots. To mention but a few. Then we have the supporters like Cliff Day and his brothers, Henry Holding and his daughter plus so many more. Good Reading people who no matter how the team played was there week after week and many year after year. Then we have the likes of Ted Hillier who did so much in his time. In those days I worked for Ted and met several of the players who came to the factory to work in there spare time. Now we are to see what you have to give us next season? I am sure your supporters will be on the line pushing you on. They will demand as always the best out of you.
Go and have a holiday and come back to show that the Reading team now have a lot to give back to those that have spent years waiting for this day. Come SUN, RAIN, SNOW or what ever is to be thrown at you, you will be men of steel and hold the dignity of the club high. Well done, now go forward to your Division 1 and show them you can think as well as play the ball. We will now have the chance to see what manner of men you really are. With much respect I salute you all at the club. One of the supporters from the past,

-- Monthelma

Congratulations lads. Once again you had us all going for a minute there. I am ten quid better off now thanks to my unbelieveing girlfriend. Thanks also to HNA for the website. My lifeline throughout the season.
-- Timmy Sunshine - Dubai

We were there. Absolutely brilliant. Pards couldn't even face the celebrations, he was so wound up. It just goes to show how important the whole thing is to him. Well done everyone. Perhaps I can make up with some of my neighbours now. The atmosphere in this part of Sussex has been decidedly frosty since Brighton were promoted. See you all next season, IN DIVISION 1. URZ!
-- Kevin, Worthing Royal.

What a moment, what a day, what a season! I was sat at the Mad Stad on Saturday with another 4,999 fantastic Reading fans. It was all very surreal to be honest. The first half gave us hope that we were not going to collapse - the second was a blur! Things got a bit nasty when the screen packed up for the first 15mins of the second half. When Cureton scored we just went mental... though the tension just made the brain numb for a while and it's only now on Sunday afternoon - things are sinking in. Afterwards the fans streamed on to the pitch - one steward even helping a few on! Who cares... we ain't gonna play on it again this season!! It was like a huge garden party after the game - people lying and relaxing on the grass with beer in hand - others in the stand watching the tele. One gets the feeling we won't be back in Div 2 for a very long time. Brilliant, well done Reading... at last!
-- Howard Timberlake, Wallingford

What a day, what a weekend, what a season. Thank god its all over and we can relax and watch the World Cup in the knowledge that next season will be spent in Divison One. The season after, why not the Premiership. Congratulations to all involved, but particularly Jamie Cureton. The man for the occasion. A bargain when we bought him for 250k, absolutely priceless now. Crowthorne Royal its been a pain watching with you the last few weeks, but it was all worth it at 5.00 Saturday night. Here's to Divison One. Come on URZZ!
-- Turns

What a weird experience. Never before has a draw seemed so incredibly like a win and, judging by the faces of the Brentford faithful, never has it seemed so like a loss either. Maybe Geller did have an effect on me for, as the game kicked off, I felt an incredible sense of inner peace. We were going to get the result we needed, I was sure of it. Even when Brentford scored, I remained confident, having somehow shaken off my play-off post traumatic stress syndrome. 'Stay positive', I kept saying to my kids and, 'let them think they've got it, we don't want to equalise too early!'.
The last fifteen minutes went incredibly quickly. There was no way Brentford were going to beat us. Bitter experience of play-off finals with Reading FC had confirmed that the side who comes back from being down in the game never loses! And so it proved. The final whistle heralded more play-off tears, this time of emotional joy. 'Pinch me, I'm dreaming - ouch that damn well hurt! The Royals ARE going up!'
Finally, I'm sorry Bob, but calling Roger Smee a 'toad' is out of order. OK, so things at the club started to slide, as the same happened to his business. But never forget that without Roger Smee, Reading FC would not have been around for Mr Madejski to transform.

-- Andy Charman - Harefield Royals

Last year I left the Millennium Stadium trying to hold back the tears while consoling my distraught daughter. I made a promise to her then that we won't be in the play-offs again - we'll go up automatically. I kept that promise. I sat in front of my PC and openly wept with joy when I saw the result. Such a relief and congratulations to every No. 13 out there in the world. WE all deserve this. I've always told other Royals to make the most of this - you never know when the next time will be. By God I love this football club! URZ!
-- Baz - "Ark Royal" Arkansas, USA

Yes sir....I should like to challenge the statement made by a fan of the Royals on 606 last night... I was dissapointed to hear of him talking of the chairman wishing to run the club as a business and to make money. I feel it is only fair to point out that if Mr Madjeski's aim has been to make money he prefers to make a slow buck rather than a fast one. I happen to believe he is the best thing to have happened to the club... (although I am pretty impressed with the current team!) Without his vision, ambition and of course funds, Reading FC would be nothing like the huge concern they now are... bringing great football and excitement to this already thriving town. I cannot tell you what pleasure I have had in watching the team this year... and I know it is going to get better and better!
Come on you Royals!

-- Paul-a Dorset-based Royals nutter

Thank God!
-- Paul Finch

So, its 4.30 pm and there we are, a sea of desolate faces, facing disappointment yet again. I had this awful physical pain of despair in my gut watching the Brentford party, thinking Why does it have to be like this? Why does it always have to be this painful? Why does it always happen to us? Suddenley, Curo has the ball - one half chance, one shot, one goal and in an instant we're going mental with the greatest feeling of orgiastic joy! Only football can do this - unbelievable! All the pundits have said we deserved it because we were top all season - we weren't! In October we were 14th and I, as many others did, wanted Pardew out. If we'd got a new guy in at that point we would have considered it a success to get to the play offs - to go up from there automatically is an amazing achievement. As for Curo? Goalscoring hero! Give him a 10 year contract on a million a week NOW - he's a Reading hero for now and forever!
-- Simon, Oxford Royal - still slightly pissed and emotional

Saturday 20th April 2002 - Probably the greatest draw I have ever seen.
Thank God - Thank Cureton - Thank Reading FC
You have made me and my daughters very very happy.

-- Dave W Harrow Royal

We are there! I really hope that any minute now the alarm isn't going to ring and I'm going to find that it' s Saturday morning, I still have a complete ticket for the game and I've got to get on the coach and go through it all again! But it isn't a dream - it's reality! We are no longer the Nearly Men, no more jealous cracks from mid table fans about us bottling it again. Players and fans showed that we have what it takes to be winners! I will never forget Hughsey dancing like an idiot at Griffin Park, Parky snarling at the Bees fans before kick off, Adie W screaming through a megaphone, balloons everywhere and most of all I will never forget Jamie doing what he does best. We have marked time for the last few seasons but this club is ready to go! We have the facilities, we have the support and we have the makings of the squad. I have no doubt that we will see some new faces over the summer and there are some very good players available. I cannot wait for August - in fact why stop now! let's just go straight into next season! Thankyou Mr Mad, thankyou Alan Pardew, thankyou the entire squad and thankyou fellow fans. It's a great time to be a Royal isn't it!
-- Martin, Happy Royal!

'The Royals are going up, The Royals are going up and now you've gotta believe us and now' etc...
'Barmy Army, Barmy Army' etc...
AND OF COURSE! 'Jamie Cureton, what a bargain, what a bargain. etc...
My post is very late but guess what... I haven't had time what with the celebrations and all! I was so tense during and after the game on saturday I gave myself a massive headache and couldn't enjoy some champagne until about 10.30pm! What a season, the low of 14th after losing at home to Swindon and the high of the final whistle yesterday, the script was played out perfectly. As Bob Lethaby has done I would also like to thank all contributors to the match report section.
On this area of HNA I personally believe we are all very Loyal Royals.
We may criticise, but we also heap praise aswell. I have at times been very critical of Pardew mainly because of his tactics and his ability to motivate. Both were first class on saturday. He gambled hugely leaving Watson out and he knows that if we'd not created enough on saturday he would have probably been out of a job now. He also brought Jamie on at exactly the right time.
Well done Alan, enjoy the moment and learn from this year because in Div1 we will get turned over many times if our tactics are not spot on. I really belive we will do well in Div1 with a couple of good summer signings. The club is in great shape and anyone who witnessed yesterdays joy and relationship between the fans and players will know we are going places. Finally a word for a 'real hero' - Jamie Cureton. When I heard we were signing Jamie I immediately thought about the 4 superb goals he put past our keeper for Bristol Rovers. I thought then he was a class act and I think it even more now after that 'Bergkamp-esk' finish. He has had to sit and watch Tony Rougier (Mr inconsistent) play dreadfully at times and not get on and how must he have felt last week when Butler got the nod (correctly) before him at half time. He has shown great character and spirit It will be a travesty if we sell him. Well done again my Mighty Royals, you have really put me through the mire in recent weeks, but to wake up on sunday morning and be in division 1 was a great feeling! Oh and 'Turns' (See post from earlier in this section) I'll try and sit down a bit more next year mate. As always though a great treat to support Reading with you and with your brother living in Rugby (excellent stopover in the midlands) I'm sure you'll be a friend for life! Best Wishes to all and of course England in The World Cup!

--An Utterly Delighted Crowthorne Royal.

Oh happy daze...! What a feeling when that final whistle went. What a bizarre experience shouting and screaming at the 'big' screen (when it was on that is...it was just as well Curo scored otherwise we may well have found out how many people it would take to turn over a three and a half ton truck!) Actually I find it quite hard to deal with it all. Defeats, near misses and last minute failures I can handle. But success...? What do I do? I'm still lapsing into chanting ('Jamie Cureton; what a bargain; what a bargain' is the favourite one) and I have a silly grin most of the time. In the course of Saturday's celebrations a bloke came into the pub who had been at Brentford. He said he saw a woman with bad grazes to her arms and a black eye. The grazes were the result of being crushed against a barrier. 'Guess where I got the black eye?' she was asking, before proudly telling everyone that Graham Murty did it in his exuberant celebrations at the final whistle! I have no such proud injury but me and Dave would surely have given a cardiac specialist a worrying moment or two on Saturday afternoon. Well done Alan and the lads- but you certainly put us through it!
-- Mista Kook

'ello, 'ello Reading are BACK, Reading are BACK.
Never in doubt was it, tell that to my pacemaker and my underwear!
Well done EVERYONE, the last few weeks have been very testing for all concerned, yet the lads have seen it through when lesser mortals would have crumbled. At the end of the season the table never lies and even if we did it the hard way, the fact is we did it and Alan Pardew deserves all the plaudits going for also seeing the job to a successful end given the pressures heaped upon him from all sides. I too have been critical of the guy over the season at certain points but one can never question his heart is blue and white, and the fact that all he wants, is what everyone reading this wants, the club to be a success and realise its true potential. All the hoops were heroes on Saturday, but what can you say about Curo, fantastic finish, thanks Jamie, once more you are the miracle man with the initials JC, let's all pray you are with us to preach you goalscoring sermon every week next season. We are now at the start of a new chapter in the history of Reading FC, all the foundations are now in place and the only way is gonna be UP and UP. Just one thing, next season don't leave it 'til the last game lads, I don't I could survive that again, promotion with 3 or 4 games to go will do ! Enjoy your summer one and all, I think will all deserve to. Urzzzzz

-- Darren Hall

I was at the Mad Stad too, with my husband (a Newcastle fan). At least the "big screen" disruption meant we did not have to see the Brentford goal! Seriously if the club stages an event like that again we need (a) a bigger screen (b) contingency plans for technical hitches! But we are up, no arguments now, a well-deserved return to Division One and thanks a million to Alan and the lads and John M himself. I live nearer Brentford funnily enough! Come on URZZZZZ! Go for it in the First next season.
-- Jess, London

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