By Neil Fissler
TREVOR SENIOR knew how to make an impression at a new club when he scored the goals that secured an immediate promotion from Division Four.
The Royals had just been relegated from Division Three and they needed a goalscorer, so in came Senior from Portsmouth after catching the eye the season before.
During a loan spell at Aldershot, he scored six goals in ten games. It was a sign of things to come in his first campaign at Elm Park when he scored 36 goals in 45 league games.
Stuart Beavon believes Senior was probably the worst footballer he had seen, but was in a different class when it came to scoring goals.
“We had Kerry Dixon, who scored a lot of goals, and when he went off to Chelsea, Maurice Evans, who was the manager at the time, turned up with Trevor Senior,” said Beavon.
“He was a great scorer and could get himself into the right place at the right time. It made it easy for you.
“There were times when you wanted him to give you the ball, but he would turn and shoot.
“You were just about to give him a mouthful and you ended up going ‘what a great goal’!
“He was that sort of player.
“You played a ball into him and it would bobble off his foot, but in front of goal he was unbelievable. He would never miss.
“It was probably because of him that we got promoted that season with all of the goals he scored for us.”
Reading were in the hunt for promotion nearly all season, but it didn’t stop them from sacking manger Evans just a few weeks into the New Year.
Ian Branfoot took over and led the club into one of the most successful eras in their history, winning promotion again two seasons later and winning a Simod Cup final at Wembley.
The change of manager worked as they lost only one game between February and the end of the season, finishing third behind runaway champions York City and second-placed Doncaster Rovers.
“We all thought it was harsh sacking Maurice, but I think they had it in mind that, when they brought in Ian, Maurice would go. Ian took over and we had nothing but success under him. We played like the old Wimbledon: turn and whack it into the corner.
“I hated the way we played but it was the most successful we were.
“It’s a strange thing to say. We knew as soon as someone got the ball where it was going, so you were always one step ahead of the defenders.
“The main aim that season was to get promoted. We didn’t want to stay down there in Division Four.
“Nobody wanted to play there. I certainly didn’t, so it was good to get out of it,” added Beavon.
Colin Duncan: Midfielder who once cost Gillingham a club record fee. He settled in Thatcham, Berkshire, where he became a self-employed painter and decorator.
Mark Matthews: Midfielder, who was a non-contract player. Still lives in the Reading area, where he works as a bricklayer.
Gary Westwood: Goalkeeper who helped Reading win two promotions and is now based at Wargrave, Berkshire, where he runs his own business, Freestyle Sign & Print Co.