Reading is the largest town in the Royal County of Berkshire and plays host to the highest placed professional rugby and football teams in the County. Reading FC and London Irish RFC both play at the Madejski Stadium on the outskirts of the town. Both teams currently play in the second tier of the professional versions of their respective sports with Irish having recently been relegated from the Premiership.
Reading FC are currently managed by former Manchester United and AC Milan player, Jaap Stam, who also played many times for Holland. Stam recently replaced Brian McDermott who spent many years at the club. Reading have been in the Premier League quite a lot in the last decade but have spent the last few years back in the Championship, just missing out on the play offs last season. They progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup this year also.
London Irish was founded in 1898 by a group of ex pat Irish nationals who wanted to form a community of like minded people of Irish descent who enjoyed playing and watching rugby. Irish were originally based in South West London but relocated to Reading around 10 years ago and have made the Madejski Stadium their home ever since. They have struggled in the top flight for a few seasons and were finally relegated in May and will now play next season in the Championship.
If Ice Hockey is your thing then Bracknell is the place to be. The John Nike Sports Complex plays host to the Bracknell Bees who compete in the National Premier League of Ice Hockey. The Bees were formed in 1987 and are currently coached by Lukas Smital. Smital is a Czech national and former player for the Bees, he led them to the English Premier League title in 2006-07.
Newbury has a very competitive amateur rugby club based at Monks Lane who currently play in the 6th tier of English rugby – South West 1 East. Founded in 1928 the club has gone through hard times over the past couple of decades but current coach, Lee Goodall, led them to a 16 match unbeaten run in 2016 which saw them miss out on a promotion play-off spot by a couple of points.
Maidenhead United compete in the Conference which is the highest amateur league of football in England. Maidenhead United are a semi-professional club based at York Road in maidenhead at what the English FA acknowledge is the “oldest senior football ground continuously used by the same club”.
Reading Rockets, Berkshire’s leading Basketball club was founded in 1997 and has seen a great deal of success in the past decade winning the English National League several times. The team is currently based at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Caversham.
There is a wealth of sporting clubs in the County of Berkshire to satisfy the most avid sports fans. Along with annual events like the Henley Regatta (technically in Oxfordshire – Just!) and the Reading Half Marathon the County has lots going for it.