Reading FC Women announces the departure of captain Tash Harding

Reading FC Women captain Tash Harding. Photo: Neil Graham /
Reading FC Women captain Tash Harding. Photo: Neil Graham /

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Reading FC Women have announced, on social media, that club captain Natasha Harding is set to leave at the end of the 2021/21 season after five years at the club.

She’s proven to be a versatile player during her tenure at the club having started in virtually every position, bar the goalkeeper, for Reading.

Harding has made an impressive 83 league appearances and scored 4 goals in that time, all of which were against different opponents. She scored her first in a 3-2 defeat to Chelsea in 2019. Going ahead to score the other three in the 2020/21 season including one in the impressive 2-0 win against Manchester United where she headed home to put the Royals 1-0 up. Reading have wracked up a reputation for brilliant goals against Everton and Harding is definitely in amongst after her cross-come-shot in November 2020 looped over the keeper into the back of the net. She also clinched a goal against Brighton in the Continental Cup.

Of note, Harding is a Caerphilly girl and she made her 100th appearance for Wales in April, just one of five Welsh women to do so. She joins fellow former Royals Helen Ward and Jess Fishlock in the centurion club. She began her senior career at Cardiff City where she spent five years which included captaining the side. She then spent two years at Bristol City, also alongside Fishlock, and her time at the Vixens included a last-16 tie against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Harding had intentions of moving to Washington Spirits after two years at Bristol, but ended up staying in England and moving to Manchester City after a visa denial.

She played alongside the likes of Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Toni Duggan and Jill Scott in her year with the Blues. She then put pen to paper for Liverpool after being released and spent a year under the tutelage of Matt Beard with team-mates Caroline Weir, Alex Greenwood and Laura Coombs, who incidentally all now play for City.

She scored 11 goals for the Reds in her twenty nine appearances for them before leaving in the January transfer window to join the Royals. She was named captain of the team following the retirement of club legend Kirsty Pearce.

My time Reading FC Women has come to an end. I’d like to thank the club, staff, the fans and my teammates for my time there.As one chapter ends, I’m extremely excited for my next challenge. Mentally and physically I feel my best. It’s been a pleasure… UP THE DING.

Tash Harding on Twitter (@tashharding09)
Tash Harding alongside England centurion Fara Williams

 “I’d like to thank Tash for everything she has done in her time with the club. She’s been an integral part of the team, and been a huge part of our growth as a club. Personally I have grown a great relationship with Tash both personally and professionally, and I’d like to wish her the very best for the future.”

Kelly Chambers, Reading manager

The last chance to see Harding play for the Royals will be on Sunday 8th May at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as the Royals play host to Manchester City, kick-off 12pm. 

Harding is yet to confirm her new endeavour and we’ll leave the speculation to fans for now, but we wish our Welsh legend all the best in the future and thank her for her tenure at Reading Football Club. Keep up to date with all things Reading Women right here.

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