Branfoot was manager of Reading from 31 January 1984 to 23 October 1989,. He must rank as one of Reading's most successful managers, leading Reading to promotion from Division 4 to Division 3 in 1984 based on the good work of Maurice Evans, and then promotion from Division 3 to Division 2 as champions in 1986. This last achievement included a record breaking start to the season of 13 straight wins. The club maintained a 13th position the next season but were relegated in 1988. However, in the same season that they won the Full Members Cup beating Luton Town 4-1 at Wembley.