Goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who made 126 appearances for Reading FC between 1992 and 1995, was one of 25 new inductees into Reading FC’s Hall of Fame on March 20th, 2018.
The Hall of Fame is run by the The Supporters Trust At Reading (STAR) and nomination is open to any individual that has played an exceptional or distinctive part in the life of the club. STAR hopes to induct about 150 individuals by 2022 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Reading FC’s first match which was played in 1872.
Shaka’s achievements at the club are summarized on STAR’s website as follows:
Reading career: 1992-95, Goalkeeper 126 appearances
Claim to fame: Arguably Reading’s best ever keeper and a crowd favourite.
Shaka Hislop proved to be one of Reading’s best ever goalkeepers in the short period he was with the club. He took the often lurid and multi-coloured jersey permanently from Steve Francis at the start of the 1993-94 season and played 110 consecutive matches, winning a Division Two champions medal and finishing as a Division One runner-up before moving to Newcastle for £1,565,000.
Though born in London, Shaka came from the unlikely source of US college football, where he had been a student of aeronautical engineering. He made his Reading debut in September 1992. Tall, long and loose-limbed, agile and cool under pressure Hislop was an instant hit with the Reading fans who frequently sang “Shaka, Shaka, what’s the score?” In his two seasons as the first choice keeper he let in less than a goal a game and was a vital component in Mark McGhee’s attractive team that won Division Two in style in 1993-94. The following season Shaka played even better at a higher level making scores of stupendous saves that kept Reading in games they might otherwise have lost. The Elm Park men finished second in the second tier of English football, the highest position the club had ever reached at that point in time. Unfortunately Reading lost a dramatic play-off final to Bolton at Wembley in what was Hislop’s last game for the club.
After a period with Newcastle Shaka went on to play for West Ham and Portsmouth. Towards the end of his career he represented Trinidad and Tobago in the World Cup Finals of 2006 and later became a well-known broadcaster for ESPN.