We never forget
It’s the last day of the regular Championship season 2016-17. The away end standing terrace at Burton Albion is packed with Reading fans. Suddenly a section of them burst into song. “Dylan Kerr, my lord, Dylan Kerr; Dylan Kerr my lord Dylan Kerr; oh lord, Dylan Kerr.” It’s over twenty years since Kerr lasted played for Reading so why sing this old tribute now?
It’s because the man himself is there, trying to get out of the seated area to join the bulk of the singing contingent behind the goal to support his old club. He’s debating, arguing, remonstrating with the stewards who don’t know who he is. The Reading fans know, now even those not born when he won a Division Two (third tier) Championship medal in 1994 and was voted into the PFA’s divisional team of the year at left back. “Let him in” cry the fans.
Kerr’s got form in this regard. Even during his playing career at Reading (1993-96) he was known for standing or sitting among the fans when he was not playing or was injured and there were plenty on the terrace at Burton who had not forgotten that. Even though he played almost all his career in the lower divisions, Scotland or non-league he was something of a special player, an attacking full-back who scored some great goals from long range. At Reading he played in Mark McGhee’s entertaining side that also featured Shaka Hislop, Phil Parkinson, Kevin Dillon, Michael Gilkes and Jimmy Quinn.
What made him very special was that he so clearly enjoyed football, whether he was playing or watching. He was committed to the cause, he made it look fun and he earned the undying respect and admiration of the fans he played for. It just goes to show you don’t have to be the greatest or work at the highest level or play for the most glamorous club to be remembered for decades by your supporters. Even if it didn’t wash with the Burton jobsworths!
words Roger Titford, author of ‘Rusting Tin & Shiny Plastic’ and ‘The Lost Years of Reading FC’