The Lost Years is a major and thorough re-assessment of Reading FC’s early days as an amateur club (1871‐95). Roger Titford, a well‐established writer on these topics, offers a fresh approach to writing club‐based histories. He challenges the accepted wisdom by going back to original documents and contemporary newspaper reports and setting them in the context of the many pressures that the emerging Reading FC faced; from rival clubs in the town like Reading Hornets, from the divide between southern and northern attitudes to professionalism and from other sports. The Lost Years captures the excitement of the pioneering spirit of Victorian football. The journey from playing on a public park to the national stage is mysterious, full of unexpected twists and turns, where the personal reputations of some figures are restored and those of others questioned, unknown internationals uncovered, a forgotten rival club revealed and so-called mergers exposed as shams. This is a genuine contribution to sports history.

“This work represents a step-change in the way club biographies should be written” Brendan Carr, Community Curator, Reading Museum.

418pp Hard back Price £20 ‐ available online at www.wsc.co.uk