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Where Are They Now? Reading’s Division Four promotion winners 1983-84

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.

  1. Jerry Williams: Midfielder who played in three Reading promotion-winning sides. Now lives in West Hagbourne, near Didcot, and is an insurance broker for Premier Financial Management.
  2. Steve Wood: Central defender who helped Millwall win promotion to Division One. He has run a coaching company, Planet Sport, and is now a director of Midas Sports Management.
  3. Trevor Senior: Forward who was Reading’s top scorer in eight of his nine seasons at the club. Lives in his native Dorchester and coaches in schools. He was manager of Bridport until May 2016.
  4. Mick Barnes: Central defender, still based in the Reading area. He has worked in the local building trade since his career was ended by injury.
  5. Alan Judge: Goalkeeper who won the League Cup with Oxford United, where he later served as goalkeeper coach, as well as for Swindon Town. Lives in Bicester and runs a driving school.
  6. Martin Hicks: Central defender who made a club record number of appearances for Reading, winning three promotions. Returned to live in his native Stratford-upon-Avon, where he is a postman.
  7. Lawrie Sanchez: Midfielder who scored Wimbledon’s winning goal in the 1988 FA Cup Final. Managed the likes of Wycombe, Fulham and Northern Ireland but has been out of the game since leaving Greek side Apollon Smyrni in April 2014.
  8. Dean Horrix: Forward who won two promotions with Reading. In March 1990, he was killed in a car crash just ten days after signing for Bristol City, aged 28.
  9. Stuart Beavon: Midfielder whose father Cyril played for Oxford and his son Stuart for Coventry. He now does painting and decorating and works for a property maintenance company.
  10. Ken Price: Forward who scored 78 league goals in seven seasons with Gillingham. Settled in the Reading area, where he has worked for Southern Electric.
  11. Mark White: Full-back who won promotion with Reading three times. He’s still based in the area and is working as a chartered physiotherapist for the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust.
  12. Wayne Tutty: Midfielder who continues to live in his native Oxford, where he has worked for a local building company.
  13. David Crown: Striker who scored 171 league goals. He worked for a firm of chartered accountants and now runs his own management services company in Essex.
  14. Steve Richardson: Left-back who made more than 400 appearances for Reading and coached at Basingstoke and Farnborough. He is now working as a painter and decorator.

NOT PICTURED

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.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
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