TJ Fogarty takes a trip down memory lane to tell the stories of the men in Ream’s first matchday squad.
With his appearance against Sheffield United, Tim Ream became only the 28th player in club history to hit 300 appearances, and the first from outside of Europe to do so. Ream’s Fulham career has spanned nine seasons, five managers and more than 20 partners at centre-back. Joining from Bolton Wanderers in August 2015 for a little more than £1m, Ream has helped the club to three promotions and has acted as on-field captain for the majority of the last three seasons. Every excellent journey has to start somewhere, and I decided to take a look at the squad for Tim Ream’s first match – a 3-0 EFL Cup win vs Sheffield United – and where their careers have taken them since.
Goalkeeper – Andy Lonergan
Like Ream, Lonergan joined Fulham from Bolton in the Summer 2015 window. This would be his third appearance for the club, as he was already splitting time between the sticks with academy product Marcus Bettinelli. Lonergan would only last one season in SW6 before completing a move to Wolves. After his year with Wolves, he would continue to spend single seasons at the clubs he would join: Leeds, Middlesbrough, Liverpool (where he was an unused substitute in their UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup finals), and Stoke. He is currently in his second season at Everton, where he holds the number 31 shirt.
Left-back – Kay Voser
Making one of his 10 appearances for Fulham, Kay Voser was Ream’s inaugural partner on the left side of Fulham’s defence. Voser didn’t last long at the club, however. The following February his contract with the club was terminated by mutual consent. He would go on to make four appearances for top division Swiss side FC Sion before dropping down a division to help take FC Zürich back to the Swiss Super League. After a season back in his home country’s top division he would play the last season of his career in the USA’s second-tier league with the Charlotte Independence. He is now a journalist covering the Swiss Super League.
Centre-back – Tim Ream
Last seen captaining the whites to a 3-1 win against the same side he began his Fulham career against, Ream would play 80 minutes of this match before being replaced by Nikolay Bodurov.
Centre-back – Dan Burn
Ream’s first partner in the centre of defence, Dan Burn’s career has been on the up and up over the last few years. After his five years under contract with Fulham ended, Burn joined Wigan and won their Player of the Year award in his first season, which saw the Latics finish dead last in the Championship and drop to League One. After helping the club bounce straight back to the Championship the following season, Burn jumped up an additional division and signed with Brighton. Three successful seasons on the south coast saw him become one of the first signings of the PIF Newcastle era. Last season, he played in all 38 matches for the Magpies as they finished third, and just last week he scored in the Champions League against PSG! That makes him the only player to partner Tim Ream at Fulham and score in Europe’s premier competition (though Denis Odoi came close).
Right-back – Jazz Richards
After making his loan from Swansea permanent, Richards started this match on the right side of Fulham’s back line. Richards would make 22 appearances in his lone permanent season with the club before losing the starting position to Ryan Fredericks. Fulham sent him to Cardiff in a swap deal for Scott Malone. Williams spent four years in his spell with the Bluebirds before moving to Cymru Premier side Haverfordwest County, where he still plays today.
Left midfield – Alexander Kačaniklić
The original Fulham AK, Kačaniklić’s goal saw Fulham advance past Wycombe in the previous round of the EFL Cup. After he was subbed off after 64 minutes, he made 23 league appearances in his final season in black and white. From there, he would spend two seasons at Nantes before another pair of seasons in Sweden with Hammarby IF. Then it was over to Croatia for Kačaniklić with Hajduk Split for a season before his current club, Cypriot side AEL Limassol.
Centre midfield – Lasse Vigen Christensen
Another Motspur Park product, Christensen was coming off of his first full season with the first team. Injuries would derail his Fulham career, however, and he would be loaned out to Burton Albion in January 2017 before moving back to Denmark with Brøndby IF. After four years and more than 100 appearances with the Danish giants, which included Christensen scoring the title-winning goal, Christensen moved to Belgian top-tier side SV Zulte Waregem for the following season and a half. He currently plays for Dutch second-division side ADO Den Haag, where he signed this summer on a two-year contract.
Centre midfield – Ryan Tunnicliffe
Making his first appearance of the season after being suspended for calling Patrick Bamford a “sausage boy” on Twitter, Ryan Tunnicliffe won the penalty that Ross McCormack slotted home for the opening goal of the match. Tunnicliffe was only with Fulham for another season and a half, before leaving on loan to Wigan. Following that, he spent a pair of seasons apiece at Millwall, Luton Town, and Portsmouth. After his spell in Pompey, he flew halfway across the world and signed for A-League side Adelaide United this summer on a two-year deal.
Right midfield – Ben Pringle
Making a rare appearance in his brief time at the club, Pringle recorded an assist for McCormack in the 75th minute. The following February after only 15 appearances with Fulham, Pringle went to Ipswich on loan. Following that he would spend three seasons with Preston North End before dropping down the divisions with Grimsby, Tranmere Rovers, Gillingham, and Morecambe. Pringle then spent two seasons at National League side Altrincham before being released at the end of last season. This summer, he signed as a player-coach for Fleetwood Town’s sister club in the UAE Second Division, Fleetwood United.
Striker – Moussa Dembélé
Another player in his final season with the club, Dembélé scored Fulham’s final goal of the match to make it 3-0 in stoppage time. Dembélé left that summer on a free and joined Celtic where he would be another player in this squad to record a Champions League goal, his first coming against Manchester City. At Celtic, he would also become the first player in more than 50 years to record a hat-trick in the Old Firm derby. Dembélé has had a solid goal record everywhere he’s signed for (barring a half-season loan to Atletico Madrid), bagging 51 goals for Celtic in three seasons before moving to Lyon, where he’d find the net 70 times in his four seasons with the club.This summer, he moved to Al-Ettifaq, the Saudi club managed by Steven Gerrard, where he’s already scored nine times.
Striker – Ross McCormack
McCormack, also in his last season at the club, scored the first two goals of the match. After a season where his goals kept us up and he won second place in the Championship’s Player of the Season vote, he moved to Aston Villa, where constant injuries would prevent him from reaching fitness and finding form. He was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest, then A-League sides Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners, where he would share the pitch with Olympic track legend Usain Bolt. Another loan to Motherwell would see out his Villa career, after which he signed for National League side Aldershot Town. After two seasons without a club, McCormack signed for seventh tier side Liversedge this summer in the Northern Premier League East Division One.
Substitute – Tom Cairney (64‘ for Kačaniklić)
The only player who has been at Fulham for longer than Ream (and the only other member of this squad still at the club), Cairney came on to replace Kačaniklić in this match, his fourth appearance for the club. Cairney’s goal in an earlier match vs Brighton would win him Fulham’s Goal of the Month for August, and his performance against Hull two matches before this one saw him pick up his first (of many) Fulham Player of the Match award. Cairney only needs nine more appearances for Fulham to cross the 300 threshold, a mark I’m confident he’ll reach this season.
Substitute – Nikolay Bodurov (80‘ for Ream)
Replacing Ream in his maiden appearance, Bodurov would only last until January with the club before being loaned out to FC Midtjylland. He appeared in the Europa league during his half-season with the club, most famously scoring an own goal against Manchester United. After leaving Fulham he signed for Bulgarian Giants CSKA Sofia, but after a season and a half Bodurov was frozen out of the first-team squad for disciplinary reasons. He found a move to Iranian side Esteghlal before moving back to Bulgaria with OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad, where he plays today.
Unused sub – Joe Lewis
With Bettinelli injured, Fulham signed Lewis on loan from Cardiff. Lewis made only nine appearances for the club during his loan spell. After his loan spell, Lewis moved to Aberdeen where he’d make appearances in the Europa League and become the club captain. In the 2022/23 season, Lewis lost his starting spot to Kelle Roos and left the club after seven years with the team. He is still looking for a club but is set to become an agent if he can’t find the right opportunity.
Unused sub – Sean Kavanagh
In his second season with the first team, Kavanagh struggled to make appearances, eventually being loaned out to Mansfield Town. The following season, he was loaned out to Hartlepool United. After that, he was sold to Shamrock Rovers, where he is still a member of their squad this season, last making an appearance on 29 September, when he started for the team.
Unused sub – Emerson Hyndman
The man that carried Fulhamerica between Dempsey’s second stint with the club and Ream’s arrival, Hyndman had recently turned down a contract extension, which meant that he was in his final season at the club before joining Bournemouth. He would see limited playing time with the Cherries, instead being loaned out to Rangers, Hibernian, and finally Atlanta United back in the us. The Five Stripes picked up Hyndman’s purchase option, and Hyndman spent three seasons with the club before agreeing to mutually part ways. Hyndman now plays for second-division American side Memphis 901, led by Sporting director Tim Howard.
Unused sub – Larnell Cole
Cole would be loaned two weeks later to Shrewsbury Town for the season. The next season he was loaned out to Inverness. Following that, he spent two years with Tranmere Rovers before being released. Cole has had short stints with and without non-league clubs since, signing with FC United of Manchester, Radcliffe Borough, Flint Town United, and most recently Warrington Town. He’s currently without a club.
Unused sub – Cauley Woodrow
Woodrow would struggle to find playing time ahead of Dembele and McCormack that season, and Jokanovic didn’t have a solid fit for him the following season, so Woodrow would go on loan to Burton Albion for the rest of the 2016/17 season. After that, he would be loaned out to and eventually bought by Barnsley. Woodrow would start for Barnsley as the Tykes would upset Scott Parker’s Fulham in the opening match of the 2019/20 season. Woodrow stayed at Barnsley until signing for Luton at the beginning of last season. He helped the club that handed him his professional debut back to the Premier League and subbed on in the 81st minute of the Hatters’ 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Manager – Kit Symons
Symons was given the boot at Fulham later that season, after a 5-2 loss to Birmingham with the club in 12th place. Since then, he has been Chris Coleman’s assistant at Wales, Sunderland, Hebei China Fortune, Wales again, and currently at Greek side Atromitos.
Fulham have come a long way since Ream’s first appearance. We’ve gone from a side battling relegation to League One to a side pushing for Europe. In Ream’s first match, the squad had a central midfield pairing of Lasse Vigen Christensen and Ryan Tunnicliffe. In his 300th, it was Joao Palhina and Alex Iwobi. 300 appearances for a single club in this day and age shows a level of professionalism, loyalty, and consistency that’s hard to come by in modern football. Here’s to Tim.