Reading Managers

This list gives the Reading managers since 1897. Caretaker and other part-time managers are given in italics. Joe Smith was the first manager to have full control over team selection, earlier the board of directors had picked the team. Indeed before 1901 and in two periods in the 1920s the board managed without a manager at all, the secretary forming the liaison with the players and a trainer being in charge of fitness.

Thomas Shefton1897-1901
James Sharp1901-02
Harry Matthews1902-20
Harry Marshall1920
Jack Smith I1920-22
Harry Bray & Billy Beats1922-23
Arthur Chadwick1923-25
Harry Bray & Jerry Jackson1925-26
Angus Wylie1926-31
Joe Smith1931-35
Billy Butler1935-39
Johnny Cochrane1939
Billy Butler1939
Joe Edelston1939-47
Ted Drake1947-52
Jack Smith II1952-55
Fred May & Jimmy Carter1955
Harry Johnston1955-63
Roy Bentley1963-69
Ray Henderson1969
Jack Mansell1969-71
Jimmy Wallbanks1971-72
Charlie Hurley1972-76
Maurice Evans1976-84
Ian Branfoot1984-89
Lew Chatterley1989
Ian Porterfield1989-91
Eddie Niedzwiecki1991
John Haselden1991
Mark McGhee1991-94
Committee*1994
Jimmy Quinn & Mick Gooding1994-97
Terry Bullivant1997-98
Alan Pardew1998
Tommy Burns1998-99
Alan Pardew1999-2003
Kevin Dillon2003
Steve Coppell2003-09
Brendan Rodgers2009
Brian McDermott2009-13
Eamonn Dolan2013
Nigel Adkins2013-14
Steve Clarke2014-15
Martin Kuhl2015
Brian McDermott2015
Jaap Stam2016-present

The committee of senior players who took over in 1994 after Mark McGhee's untimely departure were Mick Gooding, Jeff Hopkins, Jimmy Quinn and Adrian Williams, together with community officer, Dave Armstrong. Their one game in charge was a dramatic 4-2 win over Wolves, a game that was shown live on ITV. Jimmy Quinn and Mick Gooding emerged from the group to be appointed joint caretaker managers, an appointment that was later confirmed.

Harry Bray, Billy Butler and Alan Pardew have all had two spells in charge. Bray was the club secretary during the two periods of board rule in the 1920s. Butler came back as caretaker for one game after Johnny Cochrane's shock departure. Pardew was caretaker for one game after Terry Bullivant's resignation, before the appointment of Tommy Burns. He returned, again initially as caretaker but later full-time, after Burns' sacking. The two Jack Smiths, labelled I and II, are different people.

The managers can be ranked by average number of points per game in League matches (calculated under three points per win):

                          PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS  P3/PL
 1. Committee (1994)       1   1  0  0   4   2   0  0  0   0   0    3  3.000
 2. H.Bray & J.Jackson    29  13  2  0  38  10   4  3  7  19  27   39  1.931
 3. Jaap Stam             46  16  5  2  35  16  10  2 11  33  48   85  1.848
 4. Joe Smith            168  66 15  3 252  87  18 30 36 119 166  213  1.768
 5. Alan Pardew          184  50 24 18 153  82  41 21 30 122 113  318  1.728
 6. Billy Butler         162  59 12 10 191  86  20 24 37 106 152  194  1.685
 7. Ted Drake            218  76 16 17 263 107  31 26 52 140 178  256  1.665
 8. Steve Coppell        249  72 23 30 200 111  41 37 46 154 162  399  1.602
 9. Mark McGhee          160  43 22 15 128  69  27 23 30 103 108  255  1.594
10. Jimmy Wallbanks       12   6  0  1  18   7   0  1  4   3  13   13  1.583
11. Brian McDermott      171  43 25 18 145  92  27 21 37 106 120  256  1.497
12. Roy Bentley          280  83 33 23 266 131  34 35 72 176 253  302  1.496
13. Maurice Evans        317  94 39 26 293 152  31 52 75 169 274  382  1.470
14. Charlie Hurley       238  68 32 19 184  82  24 38 57 118 187  254  1.454
15. Ian Branfoot         256  59 33 36 180 137  41 36 51 163 205  369  1.441
16. Harry Johnston       327  98 27 38 343 194  35 43 86 215 313  336  1.434
17. Ian Porterfield       69  16 11  7  54  36  10  9 16  33  47   98  1.420
18. Joe Edelston          44  12  6  4  54  30   5  5 12  31  46   45  1.409
19. Nigel Adkins          75  13 14 10  55  40  14  6 18  49  68  101  1.347
20. J.Quinn & M.Gooding  116  28 17 13  85  67  13 16 29  57  85  156  1.345
21. Jack Mansell         106  28 10 14  88  69  11 14 29  55 112  102  1.330
22. Jack Smith II        147  40 17 17 155  88  14 16 43  79 141  141  1.327
23. Arthur Chadwick      115  29 14 14  84  44  10 17 31  40  83  109  1.287
24. Johnny Cochrane        4   1  1  0   3   1   0  1  1   1   3    4  1.250
25. Ray Henderson         15   3  3  2  15  13   1  3  3   8  13   14  1.200
26. Steve Clarke          44   7  7  9  20  21   6  6  9  28  34   52  1.182
27. Angus Wylie          210  56 21 28 205 125  10 26 69 101 271  179  1.167
28. Jack Smith I          65  13  8 11  40  26   7  7 19  21  52   55  1.154
29. Tommy Burns           59  12  7 10  36  33   6  7 17  30  54   68  1.153
30. Harry Marshall        19   5  1  4  14  11   1  1  7   7  17   14  1.053
31. Terry Bullivant       38   7  4  8  25  27   3  5 11  11  39   39  1.026
32. F.May & J.Carter      10   1  1  3   3  10   2  0  3   6   7    7  1.000
33. Brendan Rodgers       21   1  5  5   8  15   4  1  5  15  18   21  1.000
34. H.Bray & B.Beats      24   4  5  3  14  12   0  3  9   6  26   16  0.833
35. Eddie Niedzwiecki      4   1  0  2   3   4   0  0  1   0   1    3  0.750
36. Lew Chatterley         4   1  0  1   1   2   0  0  2   1   7    3  0.750
37. Kevin Dillon           6   1  1  1   5   5   0  0  3   1   5    4  0.667
38. Eamonn Dolan           1   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  1   0   1    0  0.000
39. Martin Kuhl            2   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  2   1   3    0  0.000
40. John Haselden          2   0  0  0   0   0   0  0  2   1   9    0  0.000

In terms of titles, Ian Branfoot is Reading's most successful manager. He took over from Maurice Evans halfway through the 1983-84 season to gain promotion from Division 4, gained the Division 3 title in 1985-86, and won the Simod Cup in 1987-88. This is balanced against relegation from Division 2 in 1987-88.

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