Reading’s Chris Gunter: ‘In one match, it is two years of your life’

As Reading’s Wales defender prepares for his 57th match of season in the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield, he says: ‘These types of games can change people’s lives’

As Chris Gunter rattles through the names of the friends and family who will be sat – perhaps stood, celebrating – inside Wembley on Monday, the very sense of occasion becomes abundantly clear. In the absence of Paul McShane, Gunter will captain Reading against Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final, where both teams will fight it out for a place in the Premier League.

Moments before this interview at Reading’s Hogwood Park training ground Gunter is doing the mental maths, double-checking with Lynne, the club’s football administrator, that his loved ones have the necessary tickets. He is no stranger to this situation, having been part of the Wales team that reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals. “This is a lot easier than last summer,” the 27-year-old says, smiling as he alludes to factoring-in flights, differing time zones and his brother Marc’s wedding in Mexico.

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