A Reading fan has shrugged off the disappointment of seeing her team lose for the FOURTH time in the play-offs to send a heartfelt good luck message to Huddersfield Town supporters.
Helen Bullen, 48, said it “hurt like hell” to see her favourites beaten in the Championship play-off final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
But Helen, who has seen the Royals lose in the play-offs in 1996, 2001 and 2011, said: “It’s hard to lose but I have experienced it three times.
“As far as I was concerned we over-achieved this season and I was determined that whatever happened at Wembley I wasn’t going to be unhappy.
“This is my fourth time now and it hurts like hell to come away with nothing but it’s all part and parcel of being a football fan. You have to take the good bits as well as the bad.”
Helen crossed paths with London-based Town fan Bob Farrell in January 2016 when they represented their clubs at the FA Cup third round draw live on TV’s The One Show.
Rehearsals paired Town with Manchester United and Liverpool but the real thing left them deflated and a home tie with Reading.
Reading had a season in the Premier League after winning the Championship title in 2012. They were relegated the following year and Helen gave some advice on what Town fans can expect.
“They should look forward to going to the Emirates, the Etihad, Anfield and all those places,” she said. “Then there will be the higher ticket prices, of course, but they will also have a full stadium and probably a sell out every week.
“My advice would be ‘enjoy it.’ Huddersfield will probably get the same that we got in 2005-06 when they called us ‘plucky Reading’ but just enjoy it.”
Helen reckons Town will be more than one season wonders – if they invest wisely.
“We weren’t ready for promotion this year and the last thing we wanted was to be whipping boys, losing every week. I think if Town spend a decent amount of money they can stay up. They already have good players and a great manager.
“I can’t see why Town can’t do what Bournemouth did and stay up. Good luck to them.”
Helen said Town v Reading was the “final no-one wanted” and added: “The neutrals probably didn’t want either to be promoted but with a fairytale at stake it was Huddersfield’s day.”