Reading FC star Andy Alleyne loses battle with cancerBy Jonny Fordham
June 20, 2012
Former Royals star Andy Alleyne passed away this morning after losing his battle with cancer.
The 61-year-old full-back played 53 times for Reading club between 1972 to 1975.
Born in Barbados, Alleyne also went on to play in the area for Wokingham Town and Newbury Town.
He lost his long fight against cancer and passed away in the early hours in the Duchess of Kent House. He leaves his wife, Maureen, daughter Tia and sons Anthony, Andrew, and Adrian.
Alleyne was born in Springtown, on 19 May, 1951, and proved a very talented footballer from a young age.
Despite being a regular in the Reading Youth team from 1967 to 1969, he was not offered professional terms and left the club, went to work for the GPO and played for Newbury Town in the Amateur Leagues.
However, after the sacking of manager Jack Mansell in 1971, he was re-called to the club by caretaker manager Jimmy Wallbanks and turned professional in 1972.
After a series of fine displays for the reserve side, Alleyne was selected for the first team against League leaders, Southport, on 21 October 1972. His debut was celebrated among Reading's Afro-Caribbean community as the first black player to appear in the Royals' first team.
That debut game was also noteworthy as it saw him score his first goal at senior level from inside his own half to equalise in the 1-1 draw at Elm Park.
Alleyne kept his place for most of that 1972/73 season but the signing of Stewart Henderson in the June saw his chances greatly restricted. He made 53 League and Cup appearances for the club and scored twice before being released in May 1976.
He was the head of a large and well-respected footballing family dynasty still playing the local leagues today.
No details of his funeral service have yet been released
Richard Wickson, secretary of Reading FC Former Players Association, said: “Andy was a great guy, on and off the field. On the field he proved a fine and outstanding full-back deserving of a longer professional career than the 53 appearances that he is credited for. Off the pitch I found him to be a quiet, unassuming man with a wonderful personality.
"I know I speak for all his fellow team-mates when I say, he was greatly thought of and will be remembered with great fondness. Our sincerest condolences go to Maureen and their family.”