Pardew brought me to Reading… but only paid me 2.50 an hour! McDermott reveals gratitude to Toon boss
22:29 GMT, 27 September 2012
Reading manager Brian McDermott has revealed how Alan Pardew first brought him to the club 12 years ago – and paid a wage of just 2.50 an hour.
The Newcastle boss was in charge of the Royals in 2000 and offered McDermott the dual role of chief scout and under-17s coach following a chance meeting at a game in Brentford.
Pardew moved on in 2003 and McDermott earned promotion to the main job three years ago, leading Reading to the Premier League in his second full season.
In the hotseat: Brian McDermott has worked his way up from U17 coach and scout to manager of Reading
But the 51-year-old credits his good friend with setting the club on the path to the top-flight, by instilling a brand of football still played today.
'I met him at Brentford in a game and I was cold, wet and out of work,’ McDermott said.
‘We had a conversation and he must have remembered me because I got a phone call out of the blue a little while later to say, “Do you want to come in as chief scout and under-17s coach”
Starting out: Alan Pardew began his managerial career at Reading in 1999 and brought McDermott to the club in 2000
'I’d never been a chief scout before and I was literally working incredible hours. I was out every single night scouting. I was taking the under-17s in the morning for an 11 o’clock kick off and then watching a game in the afternoon.
'I think he was paying me about 2.50 an hour. He got his money’s worth believe me. But I loved it and loved working with him. It was never a hardship.’
McDermott welcomes his former boss to the Madejski Stadium tomorrow keen to use Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup victory at QPR as a springboard for a first Premier League win.
'We’re playing a manager, Alan Pardew, who’s a good friend of mine, and I believe he set the identity for this club, over a period of time from the late 90s. The tempo of the team, pass the ball, get crosses into the box. Our work rate is second to none and I think he set that trend here at the club.
'I hope he gets a good reception. I remember the fact he brought me to the club in the first place so obviously I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. He was very good for me personally and very good for Reading. He’s had a number of clubs since and he’s been very successful.
Hitting the big time: Reading are back in the Premier League and into the last 16 of the Capital One Cup
Leading the way: McDermott has been a success at Reading in his time as manager
'We were in Division Two when I came here. We got to the play-off final in my first season and lost to Walsall. Then the following year we had Jamie Cureton to thank when we needed a draw to go up in second place. He scored the goal and we drew 1-1.
'With a minute to go in that game I was stood next to Alan and they got a free-kick. I went, ‘He couldn’t could he’ Alan looked at me as if to say, ‘Shut up you idiot.’ It got headed off the line. I’ll never forget that day. We had a good night after.'
McDermott has only once faced Pardew as a manager, leading Reading to a 4-2 friendly win over Southampton, and says he wants a repeat come 4.45pm. ‘Once the game kicks off you want to get the right performance, right result.’
He also told how he spent years travelling Europe with Newcastle’s chief scout Graham Carr – the man credited with unearthing gems such as Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
'I know the scout there because I had the same job as him. We were always wandering around France and Holland and all these places. Even Greenland.
'He’s picked up some great players – Tiote, Cisse and (Demba) Ba. We have to go a similar way but do it a bit cheaper than them even. He’s a very funny man Graham Carr. His son (Alan) might get it from him.'