General Information

The normal disclaimer: although the title is Royals' Record, this site also covers the Biscuitmen era. This site has no connection with Reading FC, and the views expressed are entirely my own. If you are linking to this site or adding it to your Favourites, please use the fixed URL which will always point to the current site location.


The abbreviations used in the league tables are as follows:

                                Total   Home    Away
        Games played            PL      -       -
        Games won               W       HW      AW
        Games drawn             D       HD      AD
        Games lost              L       HL      AL
        Goals scored            GF      HF      AF
        Goals conceded          GA      HA      AA
        Points gained           PTS     -       -

In the competition records, the teams are ranked by normalising the points to three per win and one per draw, rather than by the actual number of points gained, which might have been under either two or three points per win. This normalised value is denoted by P3.

In the game records, Reading's score is always given first, so that 2-1 denotes a win by two goals to one. Home matches are denoted by H, away matches by A, and games on neutral grounds by N. W indicates a Reading win, D a draw, and L a Reading loss. In two-legged matches the aggregate score is given in square brackets after the second leg score.

Teams are written in magenta to indicate that they were promoted, and in red to indicate that they were relegated. This is except for the Premier League, when magenta is used to indicate Champions' League qualification and green UEFA Cup qualification. Reading's record is always highlighted in yellow.

Towards the end of the current season, the maximum number of points each team can obtain is given by MAX. On this basis the highest and lowest possible positions are calculated and given as HI and LO. The algorithm used to calculate the highest and lowest possible positions is the simplest possible, based only on the current and maximum numbers of points. No account is taken of the remaining matches. When this is significant it is indicated by an explicit note. Teams are written in green to indicate that they have secured a play-off place and in teal to indicate that they can be neither promoted nor relegated.


In the game records, (pen) denotes a goal scored from a penalty and (og) denotes an own goal. Multiple scorers are indicated by numbers. For example, Murray 3 (2 pens), Friday 2 indicates that Murray scored three goals, two of which were penalties, and Friday scored two.

In top scorer lists LG denotes the number of league goals, FA the number of FA Cup goals, LC the number of League Cup goals, and MI the number of other goals. The total number of goals is given in the ALL column. In some lists PEN is used to denote the number of penalties.

When ordering scorer lists, firstly the total number of goals is considered, then the league goals, then the FA Cup goals, and finally the League Cup goals.

Ranking Criteria

The criteria used to rank teams in league tables have changed over the years. The most obvious change has been from two points per win to three points per win in 1981, however the secondary ranking criterion (for when teams are equal on points) has also varied: goal average, goal difference and goals scored all having been used.

        Seasons         Rank 1          Rank 2          Rank 3
        1894-1976       Points (2)      Goal Avg        [None]
        1976-81         Points (2)      Goal Diff       Goals For
        1981-92         Points (3)      Goal Diff       Goals For
        1992-99         Points (3)      Goals For       Goal Diff
        1999-           Points (3)      Goal Diff       Goals For

For those too young to remember, goal average was calculated by dividing the goals scored by the goals conceded. It was phased out just as the introduction of pocket calculators made it feasible to calculate it.

If two teams are equal on all these ranks, then they are judged equal. For example, Portsmouth and QPR were equal 20th in Division 1 in 1997-98. Portsmouth are output first on alphabetical order.

Opponent Names

Opponents are listed in the season lists by the name they were known as at the time. In the competition summaries they are listed by their name at the time when Reading last played them. For example, Aldershot are listed as Aldershot even though they are now Aldershot Town. If Reading play Aldershot Town in the future then this will change. The only example where this policy might cause confusion is with South Shields, who are probably better known as Gateshead, but never played Reading under the latter name. I have treated MK Dons and Wimbledon as distinct clubs.

This table gives the previous names of the clubs appearing on this site:

        Most Recent         Previous
        AFC Bournemouth     Boscombe (to 1923), Bournemouth & BA (1923-71)
        Arsenal             Woolwich Arsenal (to 1913)
        Birmingham C        Small Heath (to 1905), Birmingham (1905-45)
        Chesham Town        Chesham (to 1899)
        Chester City        Chester (to 1983)
        Gillingham          New Brompton (to 1912)
        Hartlepool Utd      Hartlepools Utd (to 1968), Hartlepool (1968-77)
        Kettering Town      Kettering (to 1924)
        Leicester City      Leicester Fosse (to 1919)
        Leyton Orient       Clapton Orient (to 1946), Orient (1967-88)
        Millwall            Millwall Athletic (to 1903)
        Peterborough U      P'borough & FU (to 1934)
        Sheffield Wed       The Wednesday (to 1929)
        Southampton         Southampton St Mary's (to 1897)
        Southport           Southport Central (to 1918)
        Stoke City          Stoke (to 1925)
        Swansea City        Swansea Town (to 1970)
        West Ham Utd        Thames Ironworks (to 1900)
        Yeovil Town         Yeovil & PU (to 1946)

The following teams have more tenuous links - often little more than a name - and so have been classified as separate entities, although I could be convinced otherwise:

        Aberdare Ath        Aberdare (to 1914)
        Brighton & HA       Brighton Utd (to 1900)
        Hendon II           Hendon I (to 1888)
        Merthyr Tydfil      Merthyr Town (to 1934)
        Portsmouth          Royal Artillery (to 1899)

A number of teams that appear on this site have subsequently merged with other teams, or combined to form a new team:

        Bristol City        Bristol City and Bedminster (1901)
        Chesham Utd         Chesham Town and Chesham Generals (1917)
        Dagenham & Red      Dagenham, Ilford et al (1992)
        Gravesend & N       Gravesend Utd and Northfleet Utd (1946)
        Peterborough U      Peterborough C and Fletton Utd (1923)
        Rushden & Diam      Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds (1992)

There are some more notes on team names in the section on non-league teams.

Colour Coding of Divisions

When different colours are used to convey division information, the following scheme is used:

FL1  Football League I
FL2  Football League II
FL3  Football League III (National)
FL3S  Football League III (Regional)
FL4  Football League IV
SL1  Southern League I
SL2  Southern League II
NL  Other

Note the use of Roman numerals to indicate absolute division levels. For example, Football League II has been known as Division 2, Division 1 and the Championship at different times, but it has always been the second level of English football.

Opponent Divisions

In cup games the division that the opponent was in at the time is given by a superscript after the team name. These are given as follows:

        Div     Seasons       Level     Division
        P       1992-         I         Premier League
        C       2004-         II        Football League Championship
        1       1888-1992     I         Division 1
                1992-2004     II        Division 1
                2004-         III       Football League One
        2       1892-1992     II        Division 2
                1992-2004     III       Division 2
                2004-         IV        Football League Two
        3       1920-21       III       Division 3
                1921-58       III       Division 3 South
                1958-92       III       Division 3
                1992-2004     IV        Division 3
        4       1921-58       III       Division 3 North
                1958-92       IV        Division 4
        A       1979-86       V         Alliance Premier League
                1986-2004     V         Conference
                2004-         V         Conference National
        S       1894-1920     III       Southern League Division 1
                1920-23       IV        Southern League (England/Wales)
                1923-36       IV        Southern League (East/West)
                1936-39       IV        Southern League
                1939-40       IV        Southern League (East/West)
                1945-58       IV        Southern League
                1958-59       V         Southern League (South East/North West)
                1959-79       V         Southern League Premier Division
                1979-82       VI        Southern League (South/Midlands)
                1982-2004     VI        Southern League Premier Division
                2004-         VII       Southern League Premier Division
        N       -             -         Other non-league

Cup Rounds

In cup matches the round is abbreviated as follows:

        Abbrev  Description
        PR      Preliminary Round
        Qn      Qualifying Round n (n = 1,2,3,...)
        IR      Intermediate Round
        Rn      Round n (n = 1,2,3,...)
        SF      Semi-Final
        F       Final

In two-legged matches, (1) denotes the first leg and (2) denotes the second leg. (R) denotes a replay, (2R) a second replay, and so on. In mini-leagues the games are denoted (A), (B) and so on. In the summary of seasons, W is used to denote cup winners, and F beaten finalists.


The results and tables in this site are kept in a single database (actually an XML document) from which the content is generated. This ensures that the data is kept consistent and up to date. The generation process applies various sanity checks to the data - for example, in a given league table the total number of wins should equal the total number of defeats and the total number of goals scored should equal the total number of goals conceded. Unfortunately some of the tables in the sources contain errors or misprints and so do not satisfy these constraints. On occasions I have been able to correct these errors through more detailed research, but otherwise to keep the software happy I arbitrarily adjust a value to balance the table. This is marked as an adjustment in the table.

For example, in 1910-11, the total goals scored is four more than the total number of goals conceded, so I have adjusted Chesham's goals against from 93 to 97. This is arbitrary, but the table was wrong anyway.

I have also noted places where The Definitive Reading FC (DRFC), Heaven on Earth (HOE), and other sources contain misprints, errors or contradictions. Generally, the Football League and major cup competitions present few difficulties, but there are a few issues for the Wartime and the Southern League eras. Also see here for a more detailed errata.

Note The occasional more detailed technical note appears in a box of this form.

The History of Royals' Record

The pre-history of Royals' Record dates back to 1974 in the lists of results I kept from my earliest games. My first attempt to combine my two loves of football and computers was a ZX Spectrum program called div3 written in 1985. The first Web-based version was on my company Intranet site, and can be precisely dated to 6th February 1995, the Monday after Reading won at Middlesbrough and I started to take our promotion chances seriously for the first time. The oldest part of the site is the summary of seasons. The first Internet version dates from 1998, which was when I first made a concerted effort to get my records into a digital form.

Since then the site has been expanded as and when I have had a few spare days. My professional work has involved an evaluation of new technologies, such as Java and XML, and I have used this site to expand my personal experience of these technologies. In a way, the results are only the raw material the site is built on. It is the analysis and presentation of these results that I consider the innovative content of the site.

Most of the information on this site is in the public domain, indeed I have deliberately excluded certain information from the published version so as not to infringe other people's copyright.

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