<< Season 1938-39 >>

February saw the surprise resignation of manager Billy Butler, who was replaced by Johnny Cochrane. However after only four games his contract was cancelled in mysterious circumstances. It was rumoured that he would turn up before a match drinking a whisky and smoking a cigar and ask "so, who are we playing today?". After a brief return by Butler as caretaker, Joe Edelston was appointed as his replacement. One of his first signings was his son, Maurice, who was to prove one of Reading's greatest ever players. He had represented Great Britain in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and was to go on to play for England in a number of wartime and amateur internationals. After retiring, he became a radio commentator for the BBC, a career that included the 1966 World Cup final.

Including wartime matches, Maurice scored over 180 goals for Reading, a total exceeded only by Trevor Senior and a player who signed from Coventry in 1938, Tony MacPhee. He scored 31 goals in his first season, including four in the Division 3 South Cup final against Bristol City, which was held over from the previous season. Overall he was to score over 320 goals for Reading.

Another, still more lasting, change introduced this season was a change of kit from blue and white vertical stripes to the blue and white horizontal hoops that, with a couple of ill-judged interruptions, have continued to this day.

Division 3 South (5th)

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS     H    A  
 1. Newport County      42  15  4  2  37  16   7  7  7  21  29   55    0-1  0-2 
 2. Crystal Palace      42  15  4  2  49  18   5  8  8  22  34   52    3-1  0-0 
 3. Brighton & HA       42  14  5  2  43  14   5  6 10  25  35   49    3-0  2-2 
 4. Watford             42  14  6  1  44  15   3  6 12  18  36   46    3-2  1-3 
 5. READING             42  12  6  3  46  23   4  8  9  23  36   46
 6. Queens Park Rang    42  10  8  3  44  15   5  6 10  24  34   44    2-4  2-2 
 7. Ipswich Town        42  14  3  4  46  21   2  9 10  16  31   44    2-1  1-2 
 8. Bristol City        42  14  5  2  42  19   2  7 12  19  44   44    2-2  1-5 
 9. Swindon Town        42  15  4  2  53  25   3  4 14  19  52   44    3-0  2-4 
10. Aldershot           42  13  6  2  31  15   3  6 12  22  51   44    5-0  1-1 
11. Notts County        42  12  6  3  36  16   5  3 13  23  38   43    3-1  0-2 
12. Southend Utd        42  14  5  2  38  13   2  4 15  23  51   41    3-0  0-2 
13. Cardiff City        42  12  1  8  40  28   3 10  8  21  37   41    0-0  1-0 
14. Exeter City         42   9  9  3  40  32   4  5 12  25  50   40    1-1  2-3 
15. Bournemouth & BA    42  10  8  3  38  22   3  5 13  14  36   39    1-0  0-0 
16. Mansfield Town      42  10  8  3  33  19   2  7 12  11  43   39    0-0  0-0 
17. Northampton T       42  13  5  3  41  20   2  3 16  10  38   38    5-1  1-1 
18. Port Vale*          42  10  5  6  36  23   4  4 13  16  35   37    2-1  2-0 
19. Torquay Utd         42   7  5  9  27  28   7  4 10  27  42   37    3-5  1-1 
20. Clapton Orient      42  10  9  2  40  16   1  4 16  13  39   35    2-2  2-1 
21. Walsall             42   9  6  6  47  23   2  5 14  21  46   33    1-1  0-3 
22. Bristol Rovers      42   8  8  5  30  17   2  5 14  25  44   33    2-0  4-2 

    * Port Vale transferred from Division 3 North, 1938

FA Cup

R1     Newport County3   H  D  3-3
R1(R)  Newport County3   A  L  1-3
Division 3 South Cup
R1     Watford3          H  W  5-1
R2     Clapton Orient3   H  W  4-0
R3     Crystal Palace3   H  D  0-0
R3(R)  Crystal Palace3   A  L  4-6