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Reading Football Club was formed on Christmas day in 1871, by founder Joseph Edward Sydenham, and the club were originally known as the Biscuitmen after one of the main trades in the town; however, this changed to the Royals during the 1970s after the company had closed their factory. Over 20 years after their formation, in 1895, Reading turned professional and subsequently moved to Elm Park a year later.
In 1920, Reading were elected to the Football League, joining the Third Division where they were crowned champions in 1926. The following season, Reading enjoyed their highest ever FA Cup run as they lost to eventual winners, Cardiff City in the semi-finals at the Molineux. The Royals fifth round match against Brentford attracted the clubs highest ever home attendance at Elm Park, at 33,042, this record still remains today – get more Reading news here!
The Royals were relegated to the fourth tier of English football for the first time in 1971-72, and once again in 1976-77 before winning the Division Four title in 1978-79. In 1985-86, manager Ian Branfoot led the Royals to the Division Three title following an impressive run of thirteen successive wins at the start of the season.
This was the first time in over 50 years that Reading had earnt Division Two football. Following the formation of the Premier League in 1992, Reading played their football in the newly named Division Two (formerly Third Division), and in 1994, they were crowned champions of the division which earnt them entry to Division One for the first time. The following season they were very unlucky in missing out on a spot in the Premier League after they finished runners-up of Division One. Reading lost the play-off final 4-3 against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium as the Premier League was reduced from 22 to 20 teams.
Reading had many ups and downs between Division One and Two before success finally came their way in 2005-06. The Royals won the Championship in style with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only two games the whole season. The following season saw Reading make their debut in the top flight of English football for the first time in history, and they incredibly managed to finish eighth which is still their highest ever Football League finish to this day.
Reading were relegated back down to the Championship after just two seasons at the top, and had another spell in the top tier in 2012-13 after winning the title once again. Since then, the Royals have been battling to win promotion back up to the Premier League, and in 2016-17 they suffered defeat to Huddersfield in the play-off final.
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