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Royals and Blades fans unite in Armstrong tribute

Published: 25 Jan 2013 14:150 comments

SUPPORTERS of Reading and Sheffield United are planning a show of appreciation for former player Chris Armstrong during tomorrow's FA Cup fourth round tie at Madejski Stadium (3pm ko).

Retirement day: Chris Armstrong is presented with signed shirt by former Sheffield United captain Nick Montgomery, left, and ex-Royals skipper Matt Mills on the day he retired from football in 2011.

Fans have pledged to show their support for Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Armstrong in the third minute of the game, with the number 3 signifying his squad number for both clubs.

The left back was an excellent servant for both clubs, but was sadly forced to retire from the game in 2011 at the age of 28 after being diagnosed with MS.

Royals boss Brian McDermott paid tribute to Armstrong saying: "Chris would never ask for anything. That's the nature of the man he is.

"If that's what the Sheffield United and Reading fans want to do after three minutes then I think that would be very fitting for a person of the stature of Chris Armstrong , considering what he did for both Reading and Sheffield United, what he does as a person, and for football in general. I will certainly join in."

And he added: "I saw what he went through that summer, and we had to obviously keep things quiet.

"He worked every single day, he got himself into a situation where he played a couple of league games for us - which was amazing. It was incredible.

"The strength of character that he had to show was astonishing -what he's got inside, you can't bottle that.

"We met up with him before the Newcastle game last week and invited him down to the game this weekend, it would have been great to have him here, but unfortunately he has to stay in the North East - as his little girl Frankie is celebrating her first birthday and he's got a party to organise.

"But that's Chris for you - he wouldn't want the fuss."

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