IT'S OFFICIAL: Curo's On His Way

Last updated : 07 July 2003 By Rob Cooper
It may be one of the summer's worst kept secrets, but nevertheless, Jamie Cureton's decision to leave Reading Football Club represents a black day in the Berkshire side's history.

The 27-year-old fans favourite has chosen not to accept the club's offer of a new one-year deal, opting instead to play for South Korean side Busan Icons.

Whilst Cureton's arrival in Asia could signal a new era for Korean football, it is heart-wrenching to think that one of the games best goalscorers may be lost because he has opted to play football that is frankly Conference standard.

The money available in Korea must be the real reason for his departure to the Far East. Lets hope he doesn't degenerate into another Darren Caskey.

Cureton said he was forever grateful for the fantastic support he has received from the Reading faithful during his tenure at the club.

"I couldn't have asked for a better reception from the moment I came until the moment I left. I hope everyone will accept my reasons for going and I really want to say thank you to the fans," the departing Curo said to

Explaining the reasons for his departure he added: "I just felt it was the right time to make a change, so why not make a change in a big way and go to Korea? The timing was right on all fronts, it will be a completely new experience and I am looking forward to it."

Curo will forever be remembered by Reading fans for his countless goals that turned games. However, no-one will ever forget his dramatic late equaliser against Brentford which gave us the draw that earnt us promotion to Division One, ensuring the Bees finished third.

Former Bristol Rovers player Cureton will continue to train with Reading until he meets up with his new team mates.

Meanwhile, boss Alan Pardew was quick to thank Curo for three magnificent years at the club. The pair haven't always seen eye to eye, but nevertheless, a great mutual respect exists between the pair.

Pards said: "I'm saddened by Cureton's decision, purely on a selfish basis because I wanted him at Reading this year.

"I'd like to wholeheartedly thank him for everything he has done for this club. Jamie has been a major chapter in our story of success in recent seasons. He's not just been a fantastic player, he's been a fantastic person to have around the club, and we'll miss his personality as well as his playing ability," said Pardew, speaking to

"We will miss him, but we won't forget him. On behalf of everybody, especially the fans, I wish him all the very best for his new life in South Korea."

Alan Pardew will hope to ink in the next chapter of that Reading FC story by completing the signing of Wimbledon forward David Connolly. The Royals have agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £500,000 for the Irishman's services.