To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Reading striker Andy Carroll is wearing the number 2 shirt this season, it wasn't his choice

Reading striker Andy Carroll is wearing the number 2 shirt this season, it wasn't his choice

Fans were shocked to find out what squad number Andy Carroll has chosen after joining Championship side Reading.

Andy Carroll's decision to wear the number two shirt at Championship side Reading this season has raised eyebrows ahead of their FA Cup clash against Manchester United.

A striker doesn't wear that number, right? Well, back in September, the 34-year-old former Liverpool forward signed a short-term deal at The Madejski Stadium.

Upon signing on the dotted line, Carroll was given four options by the Royals in regards to his squad number – 2, 20, 26 and 27.

But to surprise of many, he opted for a shirt number often associated with defenders. Yes, that's right. He chose the number two. But why?

Well, it turns out it was Carroll's children that chose his unconventional shirt number.

Reading explained how the situation unfolded in a mock-up WhatsApp conversation on their social media channels.

"Andy, we need a squad number for you," Reading said in the message. "Lucas [Joao] has No 9 this year, sorry. Two, 20, 26, 27 - let me known quickly otherwise Amadou [Mbengue] will beat you to it!"

Carroll responded: "Can I let you know in an hour? Kids are at school, they can pick when I go and get them. They will love that."

Reading hit back: "Sure, no problem."

Carroll is then said to have come back: "CARROLL 2" before Reading replied: 'Two? Are you sure?'

The former Newcastle forward confirmed the decision, saying: "It's my daughter's 2nd birthday today so they picked that."

Carroll, meanwhile, was just delighted to be back playing for Reading. “I’m glad to be back here, it’s a great feeling," he said after signing the deal.

“I had been on the phone to the manager a couple of times, and he wanted me in the building a little earlier than this but I wanted to make sure I was fully fit and ready to go and be able to come straight in and be on the pitch.”

After several months at the club, the former England international penned an 18-month deal with Reading in January this year.

Royals manager Paul Ince praised Carroll, who has scored four goals in 18 appearances for the club this season, as the "perfect example to follow for any young striker."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Reading/Twitter - @samuelluckhurst

Topics: Andy Carroll, Manchester United, Reading, EFL Championship, FA Cup