As a Reading fan, this is probably my first active memory of being in a relegation battle. Even though we were relegated in 1997 after Craig Bellamy scored in a 1-0 win for Norwich at the last game at Elm Park, I cannot remember feeling huge hurt, especially at the Madejski Stadium.
There was the defeat to Wolves in the play off semi-final when Alan Pardew took us from promotion for the old division two straight into the play offs in his first season.
Losing to Walsall on penalties was difficult to take and the 3-0 defeat to Wimbledon on Boxing Day was just embarrassing. Losing to Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace 6-0 was not easy.
However, no real hurt, mainly good memories I have circulating in my mind. When Leroy Lita hit the winner against Middlesbrough, I almost ejaculated. It was that good. I can understand why I needed glasses.
Watching a five-goal performance in 25 second half minutes against Derby to clinch the Championship title was memorizing. Fuck we were good, just got thunderous goose bumps thinking of that.
Now I am not too bothered about the Premiership, in my case it is case of, been there done that have the t-shirt.
I, recently, spoke to the head of the supporters club (which I will always refuse to be a part of but that is another story) and when I said Premiership is not all that it’s cracked up to be. He went mad.
The look he gave me. Gosh. It was as I just told him I just got his lovely daughter pregnant. Although, it would be worth it.
He explained that he has paid his dues, Grimsby on a Friday night, Carlisle for an early kick off and defeats by Bournemouth, etc, etc.
Then he yelled calling me a twat for thinking such things, it is a good job we like each other, especially if his daughter is about.
He said he felt the pain of the 1994/95 season, when we finished second and lost the play off final. They choose that year to shorten the bloody Premiership.
He said he felt the pain when some idiots tried to merge Oxford and Reading and become Thames Valley.
I did apologise by saying all I want is a day out of Wembley. A FA Cup final, play off final, FA Trophy, anything. I just want to town of Reading to unite and invade Wembley.
When we had the parade in the town centre in 2006 it was like nothing else, I cried so much that day. I was not even drunk. I was so proud, standing amongst the Reading faithful, singing every song under the roof, pushing the fat children in front out of the way so I can get closer.
Best day of my life, without any doubt. There was no match that day; it was a festival and a celebration. Nevertheless, it was like having sex with a beauty woman, it was over, unfortunately, pretty quickly.
7 years ago