‘It will stay with me forever’: defender makes emotional Reading . . .
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‘It will stay with me forever’: defender makes emotional Reading FC farewell

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Reading FC academy graduate Tom Holmes addressed a poignant goodbye to the fans after making his final appearance for the club in a 3-2 win against Blackpool.

Holmes made his farewell appearance for the Royals, coming off the bench in the second half to conclude a 16-year relationship with the club.

Holmes joined the club as a child, progressed through the Royals program, and leaves to join Luton Town after making over 130 first-team appearances.

“I want to say thank you to the fans, not just for today (Saturday), but for my whole time at Reading,” said Holmes

“Thank you to the staff for allowing me to experience that moment; I was worried during the last few weeks that it might not turn out that way, but we won and I was able to play, so I’m filled with emotion.

“I was surprised by the crowd’s shout. It was packed, and I wish it could have been more. That will be with me forever.

“There’s been loads of emotions which sums up my time at Reading, loads of ups and loads of downs.

“Especially when I saw my family and friends and loved ones who know how much I’ve given to the club and the commitment I’ve made.”

Despite leaving for the Hatters, Holmes will be keeping a close eye on his boyhood club in the future and is looking forward to going back to being a fan.

He continued: “It’s nice I can just go back to being a fan again. Any chance I have to come to games, I’ve been there (Club 1871 stand) a few times this season.

“The supporters have had a really tough year, as well as the previous few years.

“After 16 years with the club, there were many tears. I will always be a Reading supporter; it is all I know, therefore they will always be in my heart, and I can’t rule out returning at some point.

“I’ve talked a lot with TMac (Tom McIntyre) about how he departed, and he’s disappointed that he didn’t get to have a moment like I had today, so I’m quite grateful for that.

“You could say it’s somewhat the end of an era, we were the last generation of Eamonn Dolan’s influence so it was fitting to have a moment in front of the Eamonn Dolan stand to credit all of his work.”

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