Players that have represented the Royals and the Saddlers
This weekend sees the Royals welcome Walsall to Madejski Stadium in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup. The Saddlers currently sit third in League One and have been in fine form this season.
There have been a number of players down the years that have represented both the Royals and the Saddlers during their careers, including our current club captain. Ahead of our clash at the weekend we have picked out six that have played for both…
Current Reading captain Paul McShane has made his most recent senior run out in the blue and white hoops of Reading, but made his first senior Football League appearance in the red of this weekend’s visitors. The defender, who came through the Manchester United Youth Academy, spent a short stint on loan with the Saddlers back in 2004 making three starts and one substitute appearance. The Republic of Ireland international also scored his first ever senior career goal for Walsall, in a 3-2 away defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on his debut on Boxing Day 2004.
Former Royals and Saddlers striker, Martin Butler, started his career with Walsall. The forward scored on his first team debut for the Black Country club in August 1996 against Rotherham in a 1-1 draw, but it was to be his only goal for the club that season. Four years later, after a spell at Cambridge United, Butler signed for Reading, going onto make 118 appearances and scoring 36 times. The striker scored 28 times in his first season at Madejski Stadium and the following season he helped Reading secure promotion to Division One. Butler went back to the Saddlers in 2006 for a short stint before moving onto Grimsby, finishing his career with Burton Albion.
Dobson came through the ranks at Brentford and was loaned to the Royals in 2005. The defender only made one substitute appearance for Reading before returning to Bees in 2006 and then moving to Walsall that same summer. Dobson played 68 times for the Saddlers over a two year period, netting on four occasions.
Royals fans will remember Manset for his part in the 2011/12 promotion season, signing for Brian McDermott’s men the previous season in January 2011, having played 59 times for Hereford. The Frenchman started nine times for the Royals and was mainly utilised as a substitute by McDermott, coming off the bench 22 times for Reading. The forward netted three times for the club in their run to lift the Championship trophy, moving on loan to FC Sion the following season. Manset signed for Walsall in August 2014 playing a peripheral role for the Saddlers, only scoring once in his time in the Midlands.
Northern Ireland international, Chris Baird, spent time with the Royals back in the 2013/14 season. The defender, who joined the Reading on a free transfer, only made nine appearances in Royals colours before moving to Fulham the next summer. Baird started his career with Southampton and it was from the Saints that he went on loan to Walsall, playing ten times for the Saddlers in what was then Division One.
Aidie Viveash had his first spell with the Reading in the 1992/93 season on loan from Swindon Town. He played in the Reading team which won the Division Two title in 1994 and reached the Division One play-off final a year later. He also helped The Saddlers reach Division One in 1999. In the of summer 1995 he moved to Walsall where he stayed until he returned to Berkshire in 2000 but this time at the Madejski Stadium. Viveash played 137 times for the Saddlers in his five years there before heading back to Reading in July 2000. Viveash was part of the Reading side that earned promotion from Division Two in 2002. The 46-year-old is currently manager of the Chelsea U21s team, a position he has held since 2014 after stepping up from Under-18 duty.